The Safe Harbor Framework provides a privacy assessment that helps to verify a company’s compliance with the Framework. This includes many steps including offering a dispute resolution process. It also helps an organization get ready for certification with the US Department of Commerce. When a website displays the Safe Harbor seal it sends a signal to global consumers that protecting their privacy is being taken seriously by the business.

Benefits of Compliance

There are some specific benefits that a company has when they comply with the Safe Harbor Principles. These benefits include:

  • Verification of legal compliance with the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework
  • Dispute Resolution of consumer complaints pertaining to online information collection
  • Builds confidence with consumers
  • Receive recognition as an EU Safe Harbor Framework compliant (beneficial for the business and the website)

Safe Harbor and Compliance

When a US company does business with the EU and Switzerland, they should work to get certified as a Safe Harbor company. The EU Directive on Data Protection does not allow businesses to transfer personal data from Europe to nations that are non-European that do not meet their standard of privacy protection.

The US Department of Commerce has worked with the European Commission to develop the Safe Harbor Framework so that US organizations who comply with the Safe Harbor Principles can do business in the EU. Companies have only to certify that they are in compliance with the principles on the US Department of Commerce site. The Framework was set into place and approved by the European Union in 2000. This gives companies the assurance that the EU approves of their business practices as far as it pertains to the collection and use of data of EU consumers. This allows for data transfer between the US and EU as well as Switzerland.