Regulatory-News-300x163Dear all,

On Thursday 17 February 2016, the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee (LIBE) organised a public hearing on the new ‘EU-US Privacy Shield for commercials transfers of EU personal data to the US’, that was agreed on 2 February 2016.

Please find here a link to the programme of the hearing.

During their presentation policy makers from the European Commission and the US government stressed that the new Privacy Shield guarantees more privacy to Europeans by limiting governments’ access to their data. Furthermore EU and US policy makers underlined that the Privacy Shield provides the possibility for EU citizens to defend their rights in US courts.

Chairwoman of the Article 29 Working Party (WP29), Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin (French Data Protection Authority), stated that the WP29 will specifically assess the function of the Ombudsperson, which is created by the Privacy Shield to allow civilians to address complains regarding access by national authorities to personal data. Ms Falque-Pierrotin  further stated that the WP29 will also closely review the possibility for European data protection authorities to unilaterally review the Privacy Shield. This in addition to the annual joint review mechanism that will monitor the functioning of the Privacy Shield. A final key issue that the WP29 will assess is data retention limitations, a core principle of EU data protection legislation, that is incorporated in the Privacy Shield.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli, stated that the EDPS will issue a separated opinion from the one of the WP29, which might imply political diverging views between the two bodies on the matter.

Next steps:

  • 7 April 2016: EU member states officials meet to start assessment of Privacy Shield, which will ultimately lead to a binding decision;
  • 12-13 April 2016: WP29 plenary session. EU national data protection authorities to issue a non-binding opinion on Privacy Shield;
  • June 2016: European Commission aims to have Privacy Shield in effect.

Press releases:

  • EP – Sending data to the US: how to safeguard your privacy (Link)
  • Speech, Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor, Towards an Opinion on the EU-US Privacy Shield (Link)

Kind regards,

Neil Munroe on behalf of the BIIA Regulatory Committee