Pursuant to Directive 95/46/EC, Member States are required to provide that the transfer of personal data to a third country may take place only if the third country in question ensures an adequate level of protection and if the Member States' laws implementing other provisions of the Directive are complied with prior to the transfer.
Pursuant to Directive 95/46/EC the level of data protection should be assessed in the light of all the circumstances surrounding a data transfer operation or a set of data transfer operations and giving particular consideration to a number of elements relevant for the transfer and listed in Article 25(2) thereof.
Given the different approaches to data protection in third countries, the adequacy assessment should be carried out, and any decision based on Article 25(6) of Directive 95/46/EC should be made and enforced in a way that does not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate against or between third countries where like conditions prevail, nor constitute a disguised barrier to trade, regard being had to the Community’s present international commitments.
The Faeroe Islands are a self-governing community within the Kingdom of Denmark. When Denmark joined the European Community in 1973, the Faeroe Islands did not. They are therefore to be considered as a third country within the meaning of Directive 95/46/EC.
The Faeroese Act is based on the standards set out in Directive 95/46/EC and accordingly it covers all the basic principles necessary for an adequate level of protection of the right of natural persons to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data. The application of these standards is guaranteed by judicial remedy and by independent supervision carried out by the supervisory authority, the Data Protection Commissioner, who is invested with powers of investigation and intervention.
The measures provided for in this Decision are in accordance with the opinion of the Committee established under Article 31(1) of Directive 95/46/EC,
For the purposes of Article 25(2) of Directive 95/46/EC, the Faeroe Islands are considered as providing an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred from the European Union to recipients subject to the Act on Processing of Personal Data (‘the Faeroese Act’).
This Decision concerns only the adequacy of protection provided in the Faeroe Islands by the Faeroese Act with a view to meeting the requirements of Article 25(1) of Directive 95/46/EC and does not affect other conditions or restrictions implementing other provisions of that Directive that pertain to the processing of personal data within the Member States.
1. Without prejudice to their powers to take action to ensure compliance with national provisions adopted pursuant to provisions other than Article 25 of Directive 95/46/EC, the competent authorities in Member States may exercise their existing powers to suspend data flows to a recipient in the Faeroe Islands whose activities fall within the scope of the Faeroese Act in order to protect individuals with regard to the processing of their personal data in the following cases:
3. If the information collected under Article 3 and under paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article provides evidence that any body responsible for ensuring compliance with the standards of protection in the Faeroe Islands is not effectively fulfilling its role, the Commission shall inform the competent Faeroese authority and, if necessary, present draft measures in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2) of Directive 95/46/EC with a view to repealing or suspending this Decision or limiting its scope.
The Commission shall monitor the functioning of this Decision and report any pertinent findings to the Committee established under Article 31 of Directive 95/46/EC, including any evidence that could affect the finding in Article 1 of this Decision, that protection in the Faeroe Islands is adequate within the meaning of Article 25 of Directive 95/46/EC and any evidence that this Decision is being implemented in a discriminatory way.