Documents reveal details of EU-US Privacy Shield data sharing deal


Details of the data sharing arrangements agreed between the US and EU earlier in the month have been revealed in newly published documents. The EU-US Privacy Shield transatlantic data transfer agreement is set to replace the Safe Harbor that had previously been in place.

The European Commission has released the full legal texts that will form the backbone of the data transfer framework. One of the aims is to "restore trust in transatlantic data flows since the 2013 surveillance revelations", and while privacy groups still take issue with the mechanism that will be in place, the agreement is widely expecting to be ratified by members of the EU.

The publication of the full text of the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement will give privacy advocates as well as regular internet users the chance to scrutinize the legislation that will control data sharing between Europe and the US. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker accompanied the publication with a statement:

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield is a tremendous victory for privacy, individuals, and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic. We have spent more than two years constructing a modernized and comprehensive framework that addresses the concerns of the European Court of Justice and protects privacy.

Our U.S. and EU negotiators worked around the clock to develop a new framework that underpins $260 billion in digital services trade across the Atlantic. The new EU-U.S. Privacy Shield provides certainty that will help grow the digital economy by ensuring that thousands of European and American businesses and millions of individuals can continue to access services online.

The new rules will apply to all companies that provide services within the EU and would regulate the flow of data to the US. Written commitments by the US government will ensure that the rules are enforced in a transparent way and will place limits on how data can be used by intelligence agencies.

EC vice president Andrus Asnip said:

Now we start turning the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield into reality. Both sides of the Atlantic work to ensure that the personal data of citizens will be fully protected and that we are fit for the opportunities of the digital age. Businesses are the ones that will implement the framework; we are now in contact on a daily basis to ensure the preparation is done in the best possible way. We will continue our efforts, within the EU and on the global stage, to strengthen confidence in the online world. Trust is a must, it is what will drive our digital future.

Next on the agenda is further fine-tuning of the wording of the agreement from the EU side, while in the US steps will be taken to put the new framework in place and appoint an ombudsman to oversee the proper implementation of the agreed mechanisms.

Photo credit: JMiks / Shutterstock

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