Privacy Shield gets EU's nod of approval

Last year’s framework which organized how Washington uses and protects data from EU citizens gets the nod of approval of the European Union this week.

The EU-US Privacy Shield, a data pact which replaced the old Safe Harbor agreement, went through its first annual review. The general conclusion is that the United States has lived up to its promise to better protect data from EU citizens when they are transferred over the Atlantic.

Failure to do so could have suspended the Privacy Shield, but as things stand now, it is not going to happen. This will be good news for more than 2,400 companies that signed up to the scheme, including Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova told reporters last month she wanted the United States to appoint a privacy ombudsperson. This office was created as part of the Privacy Shield, and its goal is to manage EU citizens’ complaints about possible US spying. She added that she was worried about potential changes to the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which needs to be re-authorised before the end of the year.

"Of course we are very concerned about what the new version of this act will mean for Privacy Shield. I was very clear about our position that we do not want to see any changes which will go to the detriment of the protection of private data of Europeans so we will be watching this very closely in the coming weeks and months," Jourova said.

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