A change in the European Union’s regulation of data transfers threatened the business models and operations of more than 4,000 American companies, including our clients.
To counter any protectionist political pressure in Europe and to ensure government officials in both the EU and U.S. understand the importance of data within the industry, we brought small businesses to the table and helped make the case for restoring a framework for international data flows.
The digital world is truly flat. Attempts to create digital borders – borders that don’t inherently exist in our industry or in our lives - have a disproportionate and adverse affect on small businesses.
- Robi Ganguly, CEO Apptentive
17 MEP Meetings
2 Formal Policy Recommendations
3 EU Policy Roundtables
Passage of the Privacy Shield
For 15 years Safe Harbor enabled companies to freely move data between the U.S. and Europe, reach an international audience, and build global businesses. Some European Union policymakers believed Safe Harbor provided American companies with a market advantage and it was their responsibility to protect EU citizen’s data from “large American companies.” Negotiations between the EU Commission and the Department of Commerce were slowed and even threatened to collapse amid political pressure from Members of the European Parliament and EU policymakers.
To encourage the adoption of a legal framework that could replace the Safe Harbor agreement and restore data transfers for American and European companies, we helped shift the focus of negotiation from the role of large American companies to the importance of data, speed, and stability for small businesses on both continents. Over three months we held roundtable discussions and introduced policymakers in Brussels and Washington D.C. to small companies dependent on simple, secure, legal data flows. At the conclusion of this short but intense campaign, the Privacy Shield agreement was passed and enacted in February.
- Hosted 17 meetings with the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
- Hosted three European Policy Roundtables.
- Produced two Formal Policy Recommendations.
- The activities resulted in the passage and enactment of the Privacy Shield.