By: Garry Connolly, President & Founder of Host in Ireland Secure data transmission is critical when hosting digital assets abroad, especially in a time when data breaches run rampant and threats grow more sophisticated with each passing day. Of equal importance is the notion of corporations respecting individuals’ right to privacy and protecting their personal data as information is transferred from country to country. To regulate the way that U.S. companies exported and handled the personal data of European citizens, the United States Department of Commerce and the European Union established the Safe Harbor policy agreement in November 2000. However, due to concerns surrounding American government authorities gaining access to Europeans’ online information, it was deemed invalid by the European Court of Justice in its ruling on October 6, 2015. As a response to the invalidation of the Safe Harbor Framework, the European Commission and United States recently agreed upon the EU-US Privacy Shield, a new framework for transatlantic data transmission. This change will directly affect many companies hosting internationally, and as the Privacy Shield remains under analysis by the European Commission’s Article 29 Working party, data transfer has become somewhat of an intricate process. Until the EU completes its analysis, related complaints are being dealt with on a case-by-case basis and outside transfer mechanisms, such as Standard Contractual Clauses and Binding Corporate Rules, are being utilized in the interim to transfer data to the U.S. Though international data protection grows increasingly complex, Ireland is well- prepared to provide companies with the necessary resources to maintain compliance and succeed in their international hosting endeavors. As a superior hosting location, Ireland attracts companies of all sizes and markets thanks to its representation of the five fundamental principles of digital asset hosting: Policy, Pedigree, People, Power and Pipes, or the 5 Ps. With the recent uncertainty surrounding EU-US data protection, understanding the nuances of compliance is critical to remaining competitive, and Host in Ireland has made it their mission to help companies navigate these shifting waters by converging some of the leading authorities in the field to address the topic at its “Ireland, Data’s Gateway to Europe” event. Featuring a special presentation by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon, this marquee event, taking place at the Embassy of Ireland in Washington D.C. on April 6, 2016 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, will examine the changing data protection landscape throughout Europe as well as EU-US Safe Harbor framework and EU-US Privacy Shield updates. In addition to Ms. Dixon, additional featured speakers at “Ireland, Data’s Gateway to Europe” include Emmanuel Dowdall, Executive VP/Director North America at IDA Ireland, Buddy Rizer, Executive Director of Loudoun County’s Department of Economic Development and Garry Connolly, President and Founder of Host in Ireland. If you would like to register for this event free of charge, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in learning more about the Host in Ireland initiative, visit www.hostinireland.com.