Europe and US close ‘EU US Privacy Shield’ agreement – Update




The European Commission and the United States have agreed on a new Safe Harbour Agreement. The US proposals include an ombudsman to those complaints takes about improper access to data.

The new framework is called ‘EU US Privacy Shield’ had . A difficult point in the negotiations was the mass surveillance of Europeans by the intelligence services of the United States, as has come forward from the Snowden documents. The US, the European Commission now ensures that the data transfers of businesses are not used by the intelligence services. There is no legal text, however, is still available, it is whether it only remains with US commitments or that there are actually made binding agreements.

The intention is that this insurance and compliance are evaluated annually by the European Commission. European citizens with claims of abuse of their data by the US as part of the data transfers, ended up at an independent ombudsman who will set the US. In addition, the rules for companies have been tightened. The European Commission proposes strictly to monitor compliance with these rules, including the possibilities to transfer data from limited to other companies. Companies risk exclusion from the EU, US Privacy Shield list.

Negotiations on the framework walked more than three months and its success was important for the basis of data transfers from companies like Facebook and Google. Thanks to the deal, for example, such internet proceed with the transfer of data of European citizens to their data centers in the United States. This transfer had no basis more since the European Court of Justice last October invalidate the existing Safe Harbour scheme explained . That agreement was already 15 years old and included a guarantee that the US provides an adequate level of protection of personal data.

The ECJ found that the Safe Harbor Principles are at odds with the US powers in the area of ​​national security, the public interest and detection. Therefore, the entire decision was invalid. The EU US Privacy Shield must be overcome many obstacles. All 28 member states must ratify the proposal and also the national data protection authorities, such as the Netherlands Authority for Personal Data, still consider the text.

Update, 18:10: D66 MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld is skeptical about the proposal and wants the full text will be published as soon as possible a thorough legal assessment. “The legal status of these commitments is very unclear and it is highly doubtful whether they provide adequate protection for European citizens,” she says. Also Max Schrems, the case against Facebook that at the ECJ ultimately led to the invalidity of Safe Harbour does not have the legal proposal will stand at the European Court of Justice.

The guarantees are, according to In ‘t Veld’ legal butter soft “and previous guarantee of the US would have been a sham. “It is highly unlikely that an ombudsman receives sufficient powers to really supervise US intelligence agencies,” she continued.

German MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht Greens / European Free Alliance, which specializes in data protection and privacy, speaks even of an insult to the ECJ and European citizens: “The new framework is a sale of the EU fundamental right to data protection.”


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