EU approves Privacy Shield deal between member states and US
The 28 EU member states have voted in support of the data sharing agreement between the EU and the United States.
EU member states have approved agreement on commercial data transfer - Photo credit: Fotolia
The Privacy Shield agreement sets out how consumer data can be transferred from the EU to the US and will come into effect tomorrow.
The deal was developed after the Safe Harbour framework – intended to help US companies legally access EU data - was scrapped in October last year for failing to provide proper protection for the transfer of personal data.
The European Commission vice-president Andrus Ansip and justice commissioner Vera Jourova said in a statement that the new deal was “fundamentally different” from its predecessor.
“It imposes clear and strong obligations on companies handling the data and makes sure that these rules are followed and enforced in practice,” the statement said.
“For the first time, the US has given the EU written assurance that the access of public authorities for law enforcement and national security will be subject to clear limitations, safeguards and oversight mechanisms and has ruled out indiscriminate mass surveillance of European citizens' data.
And last but not least the Privacy Shield protects fundamental rights and provides for several accessible and affordable redress mechanisms.”
The negotiation process has been drawn out due to public concern around US surveillance, and in April the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party said that the framework lacked clarity and called for a more detailed analysis of many aspects of the agreement.
However, the Commission said that it had “consulted as broadly as possible” during this period and that consumers and companies “can have full confidence in the new arrangement”.
TechUK, which represents UK technology companies, said that the final text provided improved clarity on a number of areas, including data retention, onward transfers of data to third countries, bulk data collection and on the autonomy and activities of the Ombudsperson.
Charlotte Holloway, associate director of policy at TechUK, said the agreement was “a major step forward for restoring certainty and a stable legal footing for transatlantic data flows”.
She also highlighted questions over the UK’s data environment following the vote to leave the EU, saying that the agreement “underlines the importance of data flows to transatlantic trade”.
“We urge policymakers to continue to keep front of mind that data and trade go hand in hand in today’s global economy,” she said.
Paul Maltby claims councils must first renew ageing infrastructure before realising the benefits of machine learning and automation
Department issues contract notice seeking external supplier for two-year contract to install unified communications environment
Both the government and human rights group Liberty claim victory after judges agree that the so-called snoopers' charter is incompatible with EU legislation
Department’s 17-month extension takes contract length to cumulative tally of 17 years
The cautionary tale of the Leicestershire teenager who hacked high-ranking US officials shows the need for improved password security
Calm has turned a section of the 57,509-word EU document into a sleep-inducing audio book
Which? said a lack of knowledge about data among consumers had led to suspicion and doubt over useful innovations
BT's Konstantinos Karagiannis explains ethical hacking and why it's important to exploit vulnerabilities