EU Commission and United States agree on new framework for transatlantic data flows: EU-US Privacy Shield

Strasbourg, 2 February 2016 - The European Commission and the United States have agreed on a new framework for transatlantic data flows: the EU-US Privacy Shield. The College of Commissioners has approved the political agreement reached and has mandated Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Jourová to prepare the necessary steps to put the new arrangement in place. This new framework will protect the fundamental rights of Europeans where their data is transferred to the United States and ensure legal certainty for businesses.
 
The EU-US Privacy Shield reflects the requirements set out by the European Court of Justice in its ruling on 6 October 2015, which declared the old Safe Harbour framework invalid. The new arrangement will provide stronger obligations on companies in the U.S. to protect the personal data of Europeans and stronger monitoring and enforcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), including through increased cooperation with European Data Protection Authorities. The new arrangement includes commitments by the U.S. that possibilities under U.S. law for public authorities to access personal data transferred under the new arrangement will be subject to clear conditions, limitations and oversight, preventing generalised access. Europeans will have the possibility to raise any enquiry or complaint in this context with a dedicated new Ombudsperson.
 
The fact that EU and US negotiators have worked day and night for several months to secure this agreement reflects how important transatlantic data flows are to the global digital economy.
 
Businesses large and small across Europe need reliable and affordable legal mechanisms to enable the data transfers that underpin their operations and ability to serve customers.
 
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