In the recent ruling against the Safe Harbor Agreement, JotForm, a popular online form building tool, released a solution for their European users.
To protect their data from U.S. surveillance, JotForm has a setting to permit users to store forms and form response data on JotForm’s servers located in Germany with a click of a button.
“We want to ensure data security for our European customers,” said JotForm’s founder & CEO Aytekin Tank. “Though the agreement was voided recently, JotForm wanted to address the situation as quick as possible, and find a solution that not only our users but other users across the globe would approve.”
The Safe Harbor Agreement was made in 2000 to allow U.S. companies to receive and process European data without breaking European Union rules. The agreement protected EU users with privacy laws against U.S. companies
These privacy laws are set up so no EU personal data could be transferred and processed in other parts of the world without privacy protections that met EU standards. In order to protect EU users, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development issued seven principles:
Notice - data subjects should be given notice when their data is being collected
Purpose - data should only be used for the purpose stated and not for any other purposes
Consent - data should not be disclosed without the data subject’s consent
Security - collected data should be kept secure from any potential abuses
Disclosure - data subjects should be informed as to who is collecting their data
Access - data subjects should be allowed to access their data and make corrections to any inaccurate data
Accountability - data subjects should have a method available to them to hold data collectors accountable for not following the above principles
Though U.S. companies incorporated the seven principles into the Safe Harbor Agreement, they were not implemented into U.S. laws.
Edward Snowden leaked classified information from the U.S. in 2013. In the information leaked, Snowden stated that access to EU user data which has been stored in U.S. companies is accessible by the NSA. This triggered the beginning of the end of the Safe Harbor Agreement between the U.S. and European users.
With Snowden’s leaked information, European users requested their data not be transferred to the U.S. due to the lack of protection of their personal data. Users argued their data was not screened to an acceptable degree of supervision.
After the end of the Safe Harbor Agreement, JotForm decided to come up with a more permanent solution for users. The solution JotForm formulated can be used for users who have sensitive data involved, and are looking to keep the data only in Europe. JotForm does not go through the data stored; this would be against privacy regulations. The decision is up to the user whether they’d like to save their data in Europe or the U.S.
“We have started thinking about the future,” said Tank. “JotForm has made changes before products, services, and cloud systems are negatively altered; and built a longterm solution. We’re dedicated to finding and resolving problems our customers face. JotForm has been around since 2006, and we’re closing in on 2 million users. We want them to be satisfied and happy with our swift actions.”
Haroon Ahmad is the Director of Public Relations at JotForm, a popular online form-building tool based in San Francisco. Its simple drag-and-drop interface along with conveniently sortable submission data allows you to create forms and analyze data without writing a single line of code. JotForm is the solution for online payments, contact forms, lead collection, surveys, registrations, applications, online booking, event registrations, and more.