Connecting the Dots

Privacy Shield: What It Is and Why You Should Care the BSA Foundation spent last week hosting meetings to discuss important digital issues with key European officials in Berlin and Brussels. At the top of the agenda in almost every meeting was the fate of Privacy Shield – a foundation of the digital economy. That program faces very real threats in the European courts, and having policymakers understand that situation will be key to ensuring that business of all sizes can continue their work around the world.

With transatlantic trade in technology and software-enabled services currently worth more than $300 billion a year, data flows are critical to businesses of all sizes and in every industry. In a new paper, the BSA Foundation provides an overview of the US-EU Privacy Shield, a framework that ensures data is treated properly and securely under both US and EU privacy laws, enabling the cross-border data flows that provide the foundation for trade in services and so much more.’s new report explains:

    • What is the US-EU Privacy Shield?
    • Why is Privacy Shield important to the economy?
  • What are potential threats to Privacy Shield and what is at stake?
  • What actions must be taken in order to maintain digital trade?

In recent months, European judges have heard cases relating to Privacy Shield, one of which is expected to result in the court striking down the framework early next year. This would leave many US companies out of compliance with EU privacy law, potentially resulting in large fines and posing a significant barrier to transatlantic trade just as global trading relations are growing increasingly complicated.

If Privacy Shield is struck down, policymakers will need to establish a system to ensure that companies can continue to move data across borders. Policymakers, regulators, and US companies all need to be aware of this looming threat to transatlantic trade.

To read the full report, visit

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Chris HopfenspergerChris Hopfensperger
Executive Director,

As the founding executive director of, Chris Hopfensperger leads the foundation’s efforts to help policymakers and the general public better understand the impact that software has on our lives, our economy, and our society. He also helps translate the foundation’s philanthropic and forward-looking agenda into efforts to address key issues facing the software industry.

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