Safe Harbour is not so safe after all

3 minute read

You are right to be concerned with data security, as an individual, a business and a citizen. At we take privacy and data security extremely seriously and that’s why today’s ruling by the European Court of Justice on Safe Harbour data transfer will give us, and hopefully you, some extra comfort.


Firstly, you should know (just a little) about the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the Data Protection Directive. In a nutshell this directive states that personal data can only be transferred to countries outside the EU and the EEA when an adequate level of protection is guaranteed. In the past this protection has been given by EU-US Safe Harbour Framework which exists between the two regions. With Safe Harbour in place – then there’s generally no issue.

So what’s changed?

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has recently determined that the EU-US Safe Harbour Framework does not provide a valid legal basis for transfers of personal data from Europe to the U.S. That’s a significant change of position. This doesn’t inherently mean that data transferred or stored outside of the EU is at risk. However it does mean that special precautions need to be taken in addition to the standard EU levels of data protection.

What does it mean for you?

If you are a customer the good news is that the change in ruling has little or no implication. Sign-Up Technologies Limited is registered under the United Kingdom’s data protection laws, which bring UK law in line with the European Data Protection Directive. Our platform, and all associated data, is securely hosted in a UK based datacentre.

However, many Email Service Providers (ESPs) are registered and based outside of the EU, typically in the United States, but are active within the EU and other regions. If you are using an ESP who is not EU based or hosting your data within the EU then don’t panic, but we do recommend that you should at least make enquiries as to the implications of this ruling to you, whatever your type of business.

Data protection aside, we think that being UK based and suppling a personal level of service has lots of other beneficial for your business – so for whatever reason, if flying the UK flag (or even the EU flag) is important to you then let us know. We’ll be pleased to be of service.