- The Hamburg data protection authority is reportedly preparing to fine three companies for unauthorized transatlantic data transfers, according to Fortune.
- The names of the firms have not yet been released. Authorities are currently investigating two other firms, according to reports.
- About 4,500 companies are signed up to the Safe Harour agreement.
Hamburg data protection authority Johannes Caspar said the businesses they are preparing to fine are “large international companies,” but declined to name names.
The 15-year-old Safe Harbor agreement, under which businesses transferred personal information of EU citizens to the U.S. for storage and processing, was ruled invalid by the EU last October. The U.S. and EU had until Jan. 31 to reach a new agreement.
Earlier this month, the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, a successor to the Safe Harbour agreement, created a new transatlantic data transmission framework. The U.S. and EU are currently working to finalize Privacy Shield. In the meantime, companies still relying on Safe Harbor as the legal basis for sending people’s personal data from the EU to the U.S. are technically breaking the law.
EU data protection regulators had agreed to temporarily delay their crackdown on companies still using Safe Harbor. But because Privacy Shield is not final yet, authorities can proceed with fines should they choose to.