The European Commission presented the anticipated EU-US Privacy Shield agreement, which aims to protect the personal data of the European citizens from any monitoring activities performed by the US government and the US based firms.
The European Commission said that the Privacy Shield draft agreement, reflects the requirements set by the European Court of Justice in its ruling from 6 October 2015. Then the EU court decided that the previous “Safe Harbor” agreement, which regulated the data transfers between the EU and the US didn’t guarantee the protection of the European citizens from being spied by US agencies.
The EU’s executive body now said that the new Privacy Shield agreement will protect the personal data of the European citizens because it includes: (i) strong obligations on companies (ii) clear safeguards and transparency obligations on US government data access (iii) effective protection of EU citizens’ rights (iv) and an annual joint review mechanism.
European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová said: “Protecting personal data is my priority both inside the EU and internationally. The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield is a strong new framework, based on robust enforcement and monitoring, easier redress for individuals and, for the first time, written assurance from our U.S. partners on the limitations and safeguards regarding access to data by public authorities on national security grounds. Also, now that President Obama has signed the Judicial Redress Act granting EU citizens the right to enforce data protection rights in U.S. courts, we will shortly propose the signature of the EU-U.S. Umbrella Agreement ensuring safeguards for the transfer of data for law enforcement purposes. These strong safeguards enable Europe and America to restore trust in transatlantic data flows.”
The EU-US Privacy Shield has a long way before being implemented as now a committee composed of representatives of the Member States will be consulted and the EU Data Protection Authorities will give their opinion about the agreement. Only then the College will give its final decision.