Transferring Personal Data Abroad

Concept of transfer abroad

The transfer of personal data out of Switzerland must comply with the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act (DPA).

A transfer of data abroad occurs as soon as the personal data are outside of Switzerland. Thus, personal data are transferred abroad if the transfer is made through another country even if the destination is in Switzerland.

If personal data can be accessed from abroad, such access also is classified as a transfer of personal data, even if the personal data are never accessed from abroad. Therefore, it is somewhat misleading to speak only of "transfers" of personal data because a "disclosure" of data abroad or the ability to access it from abroad also qualifies as a "transfer" for the purposes of the DPA.