European Data Protection Supervisor says EU-US Privacy Shield needs 'significant improvements'

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The proposed data transfer deal between Europe and the US, destined to replace Safe Harbour, has been dismissed as "not robust enough". The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) says that the pact is in need of "significant improvements" if it is to be of any value in protecting European data stored in the US.

Safe Harbour has already been ruled invalid, and it had been hoped that the EU-US Privacy Shield would be finalized by June. While today's criticism does not mean the new pact is dead in the water, it does represent a serious stumbling block.

As it stands, there are fears that the policies do not offer enough protection against indiscriminate surveillance. EU-US Privacy Shield is still in fairly early stages of being pieced together, having only been proposed in February. In a statement Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS, said:

I appreciate the efforts made to develop a solution to replace Safe Harbour but the Privacy Shield as it stands is not robust enough to withstand future legal scrutiny before the Court. Significant improvements are needed should the European Commission wish to adopt an adequacy decision, to respect the essence of key data protection principles with particular regard to necessity, proportionality and redress mechanisms. Moreover, it’s time to develop a longer term solution in the transatlantic dialogue.

This is not the first time EU-US Privacy Shield has been criticized. Back in April, European privacy regulators also expressed concerns. While today's slating by the EDPS does not mean that policy makers need to go back to the drawing board, it's clear that there's still a lot of work to be done to keep everyone happy.

Photo Credit: Lisa S./Shutterstock

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