The European Commission today adopted the 'Privacy Shield' framework for the transfer of personal data of EU citizens to the US. Commenting on the adoption, Green home affairs and data protection spokesperson Jan Philipp Albrecht stated:
"The Commission has today signed a blank cheque for the transfer of personal data of EU citizens to the US, without delivering equivalent data protection rights. The 'Privacy Shield' framework does not seem to address the concerns outlined by the European Court of Justice in ruling the Safe Harbour decision illegal (1). In particular the individual rights of consumers are still too weak and blanket surveillance measures are still in place. In this context, the Commission should not be simply accepting reassurances from the US authorities but should be insisting on improvements in the data protection guaranteed to European consumers.
“The European Parliament already underlined concerns about the lack of general data protection provisions in the US when the initial Safe Harbour decision was concluded in 2000. Independent data protection authorities are still lacking in the US. EU justice commissioner Jourova must now make clear that, once the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation enter into force in 2018, there will also be a need to revise the Privacy Shield decision.”
(1) The European Commission proposed 'Privacy Shield' on 28 February as a framework for the exchange of data of EU citizens to the US. The proposal is aimed at being a replacement for the former Safe Harbor framework, which was ruled illegal by the European Court of Justice in 2014. Despite the fact that, the EU's new Data Protection Regulation will enter into force in May 2018, a revision of the Privacy Shield to take account of these revised rules is not foreseen.