Guernsey Government's Chief Information Officer Colin Vaudin
said provided a forum to further identify, develop and promote
Guernsey as a leading jurisdiction for fintech and digital
"We have seen significant growth in these sectors, which
reinforces Guernsey's position as a well-regulated jurisdiction
with robust data protection legislation that meet, and in some
cases exceed, the EU Data Adequacy requirement," he said.
FDGO's first meeting included discussion around
Guernsey's position as a secure and trusted location for data
storage, with strong privacy safeguards, which allow it to lawfully
process data from multiple jurisdictions including the US and EU.
Timing of the meeting also allowed the group to discuss the
landmark judgment of the European Court of Justice, ending the US
Safe Harbour scheme.
The Safe Harbour Decision, adopted by the European Commission in
2000, had been one of the main legal mechanisms for the transfer of
personal data from Europe to the United States for the past 15
years. Now that the decision has been declared invalid, it cannot
be used to render these transfers of personal data lawful.
The European Court's decision is based on the Edward Snowden
leaks. Facebook Ireland had been transferring the personal data of
its users in Europe to Facebook USA. The leaks revealed that
Facebook USA's data is capable of being accessed by US security
agencies in the course of mass and indiscriminate surveillance.
Further, the European Court identified that the US has no
independent authority capable of verifying that such access to
personal data is strictly necessary under the Safe Harbour
In contrast, Guernsey's legislation ensures that sufficient
checks and balances are placed, not only on the processing of data,
but also on official requests for disclosure of information. For
example, requests for disclosure may be made through the Royal
Court or by off-Island authorities through Guernsey's Attorney
General, HM Procureur. This process differs significantly from many
other jurisdictions, which may be through a ministerial
It means Guernsey places itself as a truly secure, robust and
trusted jurisdiction for personal data storage, with significant
protection and a strong level of data privacy for individuals and
compliance standards for business.
Stephen Ozanne, Senior Associate at AO Hall and member of FDOG, said:
"The European Court's decision is a particular concern for
businesses that collect large amounts of personal data in relation
to European citizens, such as employee and customer data, and store
that data digitally in the US. Guernsey offers a solution as an
ideal location to store personal data, with its state of the art
off-island internet connectivity, existing high capacity data
hosting services and a data protection regime that meets
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