Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Legal Updates

Personal data transfers to the US – help on the way?

18 August 2021 #Employment #Data Protection

Many organisations have been struggling with a GDPR grey area since the Schrems II litigation.

The CJEU invalidated Privacy Shield and added extra layers of risk assessment to the use of Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs), making compliant personal data transfers to the US complicated to achieve.

Until now, the only guidance available on how to conduct a Schrems II risk assessment has been a dense document from the European Data Protection Board – so, not directly relevant to UK GDPR.

The ICO has now launched a consultation on its own approach to restricted transfers.

The consultation includes a draft International Data Transfer Agreement (IDTA) – which will be the UK equivalent of SCCs going forward.

It also includes guidance on how to approach the kind of transfer risk assessment (TRA) now required as a result of Schrems II.

For many organisations, personal data transfers to the US are unavoidable – either because of group structure, the need to outsource certain functions or due to the location of sub-processors engaged by commercial partners. But putting in place appropriate safeguards and risk assessing these arrangements has been difficult due to the lack of official guidance.

The ICO’s TRA tool for data exporters is “designed to assist you when making routine restricted transfers… It provides a structured list of questions to work through and tables to help you assess risk at each step”.

Although currently only in draft form, this is a welcome development and will hopefully result in greater clarity for UK data exporters on how to ensure transfers remain compliant with UK GDPR.

The consultation also addresses other international issues, such as the interpretation of Article 3 UK GDPR on extra-territorial scope.

Responses to the consultation are invited until 7 October 2021.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Read more articles

Liz  Bradley

Liz Bradley

T: 0118 960 4638
M: 07775742501


Employment team
+44 (0)118 958 5321