Brussels — Negotiators announced a political agreement today on a new “Safe Harbour” framework that will allow for commercial data flows between Europe and the United States. Commissioner Jourová presented the agreement to the College of Commissioners today which gave it its “green light”. The Article 29 Working Party will examine the new agreement, called the “EU-US Privacy Shield” during their meeting on today and tomorrow and also discuss the future of other alternative mechanisms for data transfers.
More than 4,400 European and U.S. “Safe Harbour companies” have faced legal uncertainty over their EU-U.S. commercial data transfers since the Court of Justice of the European Union last October invalidated the European Commission’s 15 year-old Safe Harbour decision.
Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip confirmed today that the new framework is “robust and offers significant improvements compared to the old framework”.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association welcomed the announcement of a new agreement for data transfers. The following can be attributed to CCIA International Policy Director Christian Borggreen, who is based in Brussels:
“We welcome the agreement, which will provide strong privacy safeguards for consumers and legal certainty for the thousands of companies that depend on transatlantic data flows.”
“We commend the European Commission and U.S. negotiators for agreeing on a strengthened framework, which we will now examine in further detail.”
“We call on European Data Protection Authorities to endorse this new and strengthened framework and give time for Safe Harbour companies to transition. We also urge that existing commercial data transfer mechanisms remain viable.”