SaaS Agreements – GDPR – US Companies

From the 25th of May 2018 the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force and change existing UK data protection laws. The GDPR does not just apply to SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers located in the EU. The GDPR also applies extraterritorially, i.e. to SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers located outside of the EU, for example in the USA, as set out below.

GDPR Applies to US SaaS Customers and SaaS Suppliers

The GDPR will apply to SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers located in the USA if:

They offer goods or services to SaaS customers located within the EU; or
They monitor the behaviour of EU data subjects;

Even though the SaaS supplier or SaaS Customer is not located within the EU.

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SaaS Agreements – FAQs – EU Model Clauses

EU model clauses are standard data processing agreements that have been approved by the EU Commission as providing adequate protection. There are currently two sets of standard contractual clauses for transfers of personal data between data controllers and one set for transfers between a data controller and a data processor. EU model clauses must be used unamended (other than where specific details may be added, as set out in the notes to the clauses).

Where personal data is transferred from:

a data controller in the EU (SaaS customer) to a data processor outside of the EEA (SaaS supplier); or
a SaaS supplier within the EU to a sub-processor located outside of the EEA;

the SaaS supplier will need to enter into EU model clauses with the SaaS customer or SaaS sub-processor, as applicable.

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – EU US Privacy Shield

A new privacy agreement called the Privacy Shield has been agreed by the US and EU to replace the safe harbour scheme. The Privacy Shield is based upon safe harbour but has additional protections, particularly with regard to public authority access to personal data. The Privacy Shield must now be reviewed by the European Commission before it can be relied upon and adopted by SaaS suppliers or customers. The European Commission is currently assessing whether or not the Privacy Shield provides adequate protection in accordance with EU data protection laws. This process is expected to take up to 3 months.

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