Gerry Stegmaier | Goodwin Procter
Privacy issues raise questions for pharmaceutical companies and the future of cross-border data sharing under the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Safe Harbor program. Rolled out in 2000 between the United States and European Union, the program helps U.S. companies satisfy E.U. data protection laws when receiving personal data from the E.U. Participating companies self-certify that they follow a core set of privacy principles. These principles include the duty to notify users regarding the purpose for which their information is collected and the obligation to provide individuals with an opportunity to opt-out of disclosures to third-parties or uses other than those for which the data was originally collected. Companies also represent that they will secure the personal data. Of the nearly 5,000 U.S. companies that have certified that they abide by the Safe Harbor framework, 238 identify themselves as part of the drugs or pharmaceutical industry.