LONDON — 08 July 2014 — Hunton & Williams, in collaboration with the US Chamber of Commerce, recently issued “Business Without Borders: The Importance of Cross-Border Data Transfers to Global Prosperity,” a report which highlights the benefits of cross-border data transfers to businesses in the international marketplace. The report underscores the importance of developing data transfer mechanisms that protect privacy and facilitate the free-flow of data, and also explores opportunities for new data transfer regimes.

On July 8, lead Hunton co-author Bridget Treacy, head of the UK privacy and cybersecurity practice, will introduce the report during a panel event in Brussels, hosted by The German Marshall Fund of the United States and the US Chamber of Commerce. The event, titled “Business Without Borders: Exploring Ways to Move and Protect Data,” will focus on digital trade and provide a platform for companies to discuss the policies necessary to ensure success in the Information Age. Treacy will address the degree to which today’s businesses rely on cross-border data flows and digital commerce.

“The seamless transfer of data across borders is what allows the global economy to grow and prosper,” said Treacy. “Privacy safeguards are critical, but to encourage global growth, we need to re-think how data should flow globally — data need not be constrained by national boundaries.”

The report identifies key concepts critical to ensuring agile cross-border data transfer regimes that will support the global data flows of the future, including:

  • Recognition that there are many different approaches to regulating cross-border data transfers, and that differing mechanisms can ensure a similar desired level of data protection.
  • Movement away from rigid one-size-fits-all regulations toward more outcome-focused regimes.
  • A clear delineation between the issue of government access to data and the distinct issue of cross-border data transfers in a commercial context.
  • Assurance that the frameworks we develop today are fit for tomorrow.
  • Implementing strong, binding trade agreement commitments that prohibit data localisation requirements, support unimpeded data flows, and encourage interoperability among privacy regimes.

Treacy, managing partner of the London office, has been recognised for her legal work in a number of rankings, including Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom, Information Technology Law — Data Protection, Privacy & Data Protection Law in 2014. She was recognised as one of the world’s leading practitioners by The International Who’s Who of Internet, E-Commerce & Data Protection Lawyers in 2013. In Chambers UK: Guide to the UK Legal Profession, Treacy is known as a Leader in the Field, Data Protection, UK-wide, Star Individual, 2012-2014.

Lisa Sotto, head of Hunton & Williams’ global privacy and cybersecurity practice, is co-author of the paper, which recommends movement away from inflexible cross-border data transfer rules toward more nimble outcome-focused frameworks. Named among The National Law Journal’s “100 Most Influential Lawyers” in 2013, Sotto also received the “No. 1 Privacy Expert” rating for the past three consecutive listings by Computerworld magazine; a “Star Individual” ranking (the highest honors) for Privacy and Data Security from Chambers and Partners; and recognition as a leading lawyer by The Legal 500 United States. She is the editor and lead author of the Privacy and Data Security Law Deskbook.

About Hunton & Williams

Hunton & Williams provides legal services to corporations, financial institutions, governments and other entities. Founded in 1901, Hunton & Williams has grown to more than 800 lawyers serving clients in 100 countries from 19 offices around the world. In addition to privacy and cybersecurity, the firm’s practice areas include bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, commercial litigation, corporate transactions and securities law, intellectual property, international and government relations, real estate, regulatory law, and products liability. For additional information visit our website at www.hunton.com. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Hunton & Williams–London is a multinational partnership regulated by the Law Society of England and Wales.