Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the prominent international financial center based in Abu Dhabi, has recently issued and adopted an Addendum known as the “ADGM Addendum” to the European Commission’s Standard Contractual Clauses (EU SCCs) concerning the transfer of personal data.
In a significant milestone, ADGM has become the first entity in the region to introduce the Addendum to the EU SCCs. The primary purpose of this Addendum is to provide crucial assistance to ADGM businesses that engage in data transfers involving personal information of individuals. This step is particularly significant considering the global regulations on data protection and privacy, including the ADGM Data Protection Regulations, which impose limitations on cross-border data transfers without appropriate safeguards.
As a result of this initiative, organizations will have the option to utilize the ADGM Addendum as a means of transferring data in accordance with the ADGM Data Protection Regulations, provided that the organization has already implemented the EU SCCs. This initiative enables businesses to reduce redundancy and eliminate additional compliance requirements, which is advantageous for both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as larger ADGM entities that depend on the existing safeguards offered by the EU SCCs.
In recent decades, the global digital economy has experienced substantial expansion, with data and digital trade accounting for approximately 16 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP), equivalent to around $11 trillion. As technologies such as AI, machine learning, and cloud computing continue to progress, the growth of digital trade is expected to accelerate significantly in the next 5-10 years. ADGM is dedicated to establishing itself as a preferred destination for regional and international businesses in various sectors, including finance, technology, and the professional industry.
Commenting on the decision, Mr. Sami Mohammed, ADGM’s commissioner of Data Protection said, “Data transfers underpin today’s globalized and interconnected societies. International data flows are crucial for many businesses in ADGM, as an international financial centre. The Office of Data Protection is always looking for opportunities to support businesses whilst upholding individual rights. ADGM entities applying the EU standard clauses can now utilise the ADGM Addendum as an appropriate safeguard under our Data Protection Regulations 2021. This Addendum not only facilitates cross-border transfers but also reduces costs, duplication, and effort by ADGM entities.”
Furthermore, the Office of Data Protection has released additional guidelines to assist businesses in the implementation of the Addendum alongside their existing EU SCCs.
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