The US Department of Commerce and the European Commission have selected Christopher M. Hoff, associate in the firm’s Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice, to be on the official list of arbitrators for the EU-US Privacy Shield, one of only 16 individuals.
The EU-US Privacy Shield Framework was designed to provide companies in the EU and the US with a mechanism to comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data between the two jurisdictions. In August last year, the Department of Commerce began accepting self-certifications from American companies to join the program.
Under the Privacy Shield agreement, an arbitration mechanism provides Europeans with the ability to invoke binding arbitration to determine whether an organization has violated its obligations under the Privacy Shield Framework. A Privacy Shield Panel, consisting of one or three arbitrators, has the authority to impose non-monetary relief necessary to remedy the violation with respect to the individual. Parties to a binding arbitration under this Privacy Shield mechanism may only select arbitrators from this list.
Arbitrators were selected based on a number of criteria, including their level of demonstrated expertise in US data privacy and EU data protection laws; their integrity, fairness and good judgment as regarded by peers; and relevant training and experience in arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution.
Mr. Hoff advises clients on a range of data privacy and cybersecurity matters, including compliance with international data transfer laws. He draws on previous experience at the US Department of Commerce, where he co-managed the US-EU and US-Swiss Safe Harbor programs, the predecessors to the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield programs. He has recently been appointed as Vice-Chair of the Internet of Things Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Science & Technology Law.