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A World of Privacy Requirements

Privacy laws impact US companies doing business abroad. Privacy laws also impact non-US businesses doing business here.

US Businesses. Privacy issues for US companies don't stop at the water's edge -- they get much, much more complex. Canada, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and the European Union all have (or are implementing) consumer privacy protections that make US law look like the directions on a bottle of shampoo.

Under EU law, for example, you are sharply limited in the amount of data you can gather, and depending on the kind of consumer data you have, you may be required to obtain explicit and unambiguous consent just to store that data in the servers in your home office.

Moreover, the complexities of the "Safe Harbor" agreement between the US and Europe are still being explored. Safe Harbor, once entered, is a port you can never sail out of again: once you subject your data to its terms, you can never again use the data in ways not permitted by the EU strictures. PrivacyClue consultants are experts in privacy laws in the EU and elsewhere. Before leaving US shores and setting sail for Safe Harbor, let PrivacyClue chart your course.

Non-US Businesses. Many non-US firms are used to dealing with very strict privacy laws, many of which have never seen strenuous enforcement. The story is very different in the US, where our relatively small body of privacy laws are already seeing significant enforcement activities by the Federal Trade Commission and other government officials. Many non-US firms have never even heard of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act yet met its definition of a "financial services" company. In negotiating the EU Safe Harbor agreement, many US officials questioned the EU's committment to enforcement. You can be assured that there is much political gain to be had from prosecuting EU firms for violations of US privacy law.

PrivacyClue can help you understand the compliance requirements that apply to you, before you find out the hard way.

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