Jan Philipp Albrecht
In a landmark ruling on October 6th 2015 the European Court of Justice has ruled that data sharing between the EU and US under the Safe Harbor decision is invalid. The so called "Privacy Shield" replaces the Safe Harbor decision that stood for more than 15 years before being struck down.
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 Harbor decision illegal. 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.
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.