EU-US Privacy Shield Chink in the ArmorCommissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová and US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker have just concluded a joint press conference announcing the adoption by the European Commission of the adequacy decision on the protection provided by the EU-US Privacy Shield.

Commissioner Jourová stated that the new agreement provides strengthened rights for EU citizens and is based on the following principles:

  • Strong data protection obligations for companies
  • Clear safeguards and transparency obligations for the US government when accessing EU citizens data
  • Stronger redress tools available to individuals, including the Ombudsperson mechanism, the Alternative Dispute resolution, etc.…
  • Annual joint review of the functioning of the Privacy Shield

Commissioner Jourová announced that the European Commission will produce a citizens’ guide to explain EU citizens what redress tools are at their disposal and encouraged companies to subscribe as soon as possible to the data sharing mechanism.

The adequacy decision by the European Commission will be notified to the Member States today and it will enter into force immediately. However, on the US side, Secretary Pritzker stated that companies will be able to certify with the Commerce Department as of 1 August 2016.

Both Ms. Jourová and Ms Pritzker stated that the agreement increases protection for the individuals, while ensuring legal certainty for companies. This will in turn ensure better services and more products for people, and trigger more trade and jobs between the EU and the US. They both are confident that the independence of the Ombudsperson is guaranteed and that she will be able to reply to all complaints in a timely and fair manner.

Commissioner Jourová seemed confident that the Privacy Shield is already designed to be in line with the provisions included in the GDPR and she does not think that there will be a need for further negotiations.

Please find the final text of the Privacy Shield in attachment: privacy-shield-adequacy-decision_en

The Press Release from the European Commission is available here.

Kind regards,

Neil Munroe is a director of BIIA and a member of the BIIA regulatory committee.  He can be reached at: CRS Insights Ltd – e: – m: +44 (0) 7710 844518, p: +44 (0) 1923 284604