The EEA and personal data

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Mathieu

Mathieu

IT Law Specialist

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In our wizard we ask you some questions regarding the EEA. What is it and why are we so cautious with questions regarding this? We will explain it in this article.

The EEA

The European Economic Area (EEA) is an economic area which includes all EU countries plus Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. The EEA was established following an agreement between the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (without Switzerland). The EFTA objective is to promote free trade between Member States. EFTA includes Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

Processing data and the EEA

Exports of personal data to an EU Member State are not subject to any additional rules.
On the other hand, transfers to a country outside the European Union are subject to strict rules with the aim of ensuring the same level of protection as within Europe. The rules for this are briefly explained below.

  • The data will only be transferred to a country (or countries) outside the EU for which the EU has determined that this country guarantees an adequate level of protection.
  • The transfer of personal data to a country outside the EU is necessary in order to safeguard the vital interests of the data subject(s).
  • The data subject – or data subjects – have given their consent to the transfer of personal data to the country or countries concerned outside the EU.
  • The transfer of data to a country outside the EU shall take place under a licence as referred to in Article 77.

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