The European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee has today adopted with a significant majority the EU-US data protection agreement for police and law enforcement authorities (“Umbrella agreement”).
The agreement provides regulation for data protection when it comes to the exchange of data between police and law enforcement authorities in the EU and the US, setting high and legally binding data protection standards for the exchange of data. The exchange of data will continue to be regulated by laws in the EU or agreements with the US. Citizens on both sides of the Atlantic will gain the right to access information, to correction, and the ability to file a suit for their rights at court.
The plenary vote is due on 1 December.
Commenting after the vote, rapporteur for the report Jan Philipp Albrecht said:
"This agreement is a great step forward for transatlantic data protection. We will finally have high and legally binding standards when it comes to the exchange of data between police and law enforcement authorities. After six years of negotiations, we have at last managed to close gaps within the existing data transfer agreements. Crucially, we have secured a binding clarification that the umbrella agreement does not constitute a legal basis for new data transfers and that data protection authorities will at any time be able to verify compliance.
"This should be the beginning of a new way of negotiating when it comes to fundamental rights, with an emphasis on setting high and legally binding standards, rather than simply ensuring the bare minimum standards are met."