Acxiom is claiming to have got one over on its rivals by announcing it has become the first major data company to gain certification to the transatlantic data transfer Privacy Shield agreement, which replaced Safe Harbour earlier this year.
The move covers both Acxiom and its LiveRamp subsidiary, and means that their 7,000 global clients will now be covered under the new regime.
Acxiom and LiveRamp have made extensive infrastructure investments to meet the new criteria, including setting up global service centres in Europe and China and offices throughout the US and internationally, including several European locations.
Acxiom International president Warren Jenson said: “We are pleased to self-certify and participate in the Privacy Shield programme. We believe it is an important enhancement of our data protection programme, enabling us to offer ‘gold standard’ protections to our European client and partner community. Using data ethically builds trust, and certifying for the Shield underscores our ongoing commitment to the ethical use, protection and stewardship of data.”
To complement Privacy Shield, Acxiom maintains it will continue to administer a robust data protection programme that includes other privacy enhancing measures, such as encryption, hashing and de-identification of personal data before transatlantic data transfer occurs. For certain data outside the scope of the Shield, other legal data transfer mechanisms will be used, including standard contractual clauses.
Despite the European Commission’s adoption of the framework, fears expressed by individual EU data regulators sitting on the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) have set off alarm bells at many companies.
While the regulators have agreed to let the process run for the next 12 months, the first review of the framework may bring changes. Privacy advocates are also expected to challenge Privacy Shield in the European courts.
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