Privacy Shield – The latest on Safe Harbour’s replacement

March 1, 2016 1:43 pm Back to News & Offers

On Monday, Europe pushed to see European Union privacy regulators police US firm’s compliance with the new rules.



In early February, a new framework was agreed to replace Safe Harbour, aimed at helping firms from the EU and US transfer data with certain levels of privacy and security. The nature of this deal and understanding any side effects are crucial to sustaining this $260bn trade.

Privacy Shield will be annually reviewed to ensure US firm’s compliance to EU data protection standards, as well as checking the US government’s surveillance isn’t breaching EU data protection laws.

In order to police this US firms are urged to produce reports on aggregate government access requests which will be reviewed by EU data protection authorities. This will guarantee a certainly level of security for personal data originating from the EU and the protection of data from mass US government surveillance.

However, there is an issue regarding who enforces the framework. The EU is pushing Washington to allow European data protection authorities a greater role, making make the process of ensuring compliance to EU data protection standards much more efficient. Washington, on the other hand, are resisting this. Instead they are pushing for the US department of Commerce and the US Federal Trade Commission to bear the main responsibility.

This framework was created after Safe Harbour was declared invalid because of concerns regarding US Government surveillance – So it is understandable why the EU are pushing for a greater role, rather than having the US Government police themselves. The future of this framework is dependant on who is allowed to police it and to what extent.

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