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Principle 8 states that personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside of the EEA unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.

This principle along with some of the other data protection principles usually prevents the sending of personal data overseas and states that data should not be transferred to countries that do not offer adequate data protection.  For example, if personal data is put onto a website this will often result in transfers to countries outside of the EEA. The transfer will take place when someone outside of the EEA accesses the website.

There are no restrictions on the transfer of personal data to EEA countries which include:-

  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • Austria
  • Amongst others Denmark. 

Although the United States of America is not included in the European Commission list, the Commission considers that personal data sent to the US under the voluntary “Safe Harbor” scheme is adequately protected. 

The European Commission has also decided that certain countries have an adequate level of protection for personal data. Currently, these include:-

  • Argentina
  • Andorra
  • Canada
  • Isle of man
  • Amongst others Switzerland 

 You can view an up to date list of such countries at European Commission’s data protection website.