On January 19, 2021, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”) issued a joint opinion on the draft standard contractual clauses for international data transfers (“draft SCCs”) published by the European Commission (“EC”) on November 12, 2020, including a marked-up version of the clauses.

The EDPB/EDPS joint opinion proposes several revisions and amendments to the EC’s draft SCCs, including some suggested changes which aim to clarify their scope.  For example, the joint opinion recommends that the EC clarify: (1) that the draft SCCs cannot be used for transfers to non-EU controllers that are directly subject to the GDPR (even though this may still constitute an international transfer of personal data according to the joint opinion); (2) whether and how the draft SCCs apply to joint controllership relationships; and (3) that the clauses on government access requests in the draft SCCs also apply to access requests from courts and other public authorities of a third country.

Many of the proposed revisions and amendments aim to bring the draft SCCs closer to the GDPR and the EDPB’s guidelines on the concepts of controller and processor, guidelines on the territorial scope of the GDPR, and recommendations on international data transfers.  Other proposed changes seek to reinforce the safeguards provided to data subjects.  For example, the joint opinion recommends extending the third-party beneficiary rights to provisions that were excluded by the draft SCCs.  The opinion also calls for imposing joint and several liability for data exporters and data importers under the draft SCCs.

It remains to be seen whether and to what extent the EC will implement any changes to the draft SCCs on the basis of this joint opinion, before finalizing and publishing the new SCCs, expected in spring 2021.

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Photo of Dan Cooper Dan Cooper

Daniel Cooper is co-chair of Covington’s Data Privacy and Cyber Security Practice, and advises clients on information technology regulatory and policy issues, particularly data protection, consumer protection, AI, and data security matters. He has over 20 years of experience in the field, representing…

Daniel Cooper is co-chair of Covington’s Data Privacy and Cyber Security Practice, and advises clients on information technology regulatory and policy issues, particularly data protection, consumer protection, AI, and data security matters. He has over 20 years of experience in the field, representing clients in regulatory proceedings before privacy authorities in Europe and counseling them on their global compliance and government affairs strategies. Dan regularly lectures on the topic, and was instrumental in drafting the privacy standards applied in professional sport.

According to Chambers UK, his “level of expertise is second to none, but it’s also equally paired with a keen understanding of our business and direction.” It was noted that “he is very good at calibrating and helping to gauge risk.”

Dan is qualified to practice law in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Belgium. He has also been appointed to the advisory and expert boards of privacy NGOs and agencies, such as Privacy International and the European security agency, ENISA.

Photo of Kristof Van Quathem Kristof Van Quathem

Kristof Van Quathem advises clients on information technology matters and policy, with a focus on data protection, cybercrime and various EU data-related initiatives, such as the Data Act, the AI Act and EHDS.

Kristof has been specializing in this area for over twenty…

Kristof Van Quathem advises clients on information technology matters and policy, with a focus on data protection, cybercrime and various EU data-related initiatives, such as the Data Act, the AI Act and EHDS.

Kristof has been specializing in this area for over twenty years and developed particular experience in the life science and information technology sectors. He counsels clients on government affairs strategies concerning EU lawmaking and their compliance with applicable regulatory frameworks, and has represented clients in non-contentious and contentious matters before data protection authorities, national courts and the Court of the Justice of the EU.

Kristof is admitted to practice in Belgium.

Photo of Anna Oberschelp de Meneses Anna Oberschelp de Meneses

Anna Sophia Oberschelp de Meneses is an associate in the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group.  Anna is a qualified Portuguese lawyer, but is both a native Portuguese and German speaker.  Anna advises companies on European data protection law and helps clients coordinate…

Anna Sophia Oberschelp de Meneses is an associate in the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group.  Anna is a qualified Portuguese lawyer, but is both a native Portuguese and German speaker.  Anna advises companies on European data protection law and helps clients coordinate international data protection law projects.  She has obtained a certificate for “corporate data protection officer” by the German Association for Data Protection and Data Security (“Gesellschaft für Datenschutz und Datensicherheit e.V.”). She is also Certified Information Privacy Professional Europe (CIPPE/EU) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).  Anna also advises companies in the field of EU consumer law and has been closely tracking the developments in this area.  Her extensive language skills allow her to monitor developments and help clients tackle EU Data Privacy, Cybersecurity and Consumer Law issues in various EU and ROW jurisdictions.