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Privacy Shield expected to pass its first review

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Privacy Shield expected to pass its first review

Officials from the European Commission are currently in the US for a fact-finding mission as part of the first annual review of Privacy Shield, the EU–US data sharing agreement that was approved last year.

The review is widely expected to pass the first test, but the EU is presumed to raise some concerns, the Financial Times reported. First, European governments are concerned that the current US administration’s strong emphasis on national security and commercial interests may threaten personal privacy.

Second, the agreement requires the US to appoint an ombudsman to handle complaints from EU citizens, but the position is yet to be filled by the White House.

The tech companies that participate in the agreement are eager to see the review pass: in a column for EURACTIV, the chief Executive of BSA | The Software Alliance, which represents several of the companies, called for the agreement to continue, listing Privacy Shield’s positive impacts on the digital economy.

According to Politico, also both the US and the EU are keen to show that the agreement is a success in that it allows the participating 2,500 companies to conduct business across the Atlantic. But Privacy Shield is significant beyond facilitating companies’ data transfers: through its tough regulations on privacy, the EU is becoming the de facto global leader in the protection of personal data, and is pushing for its standards to be embraced also beyond the EU–US agreement.

Countries such as Colombia and South Africa are adapting their privacy rules in order to more easily access the European digital market, and talks are at an advanced stage about a Privacy Shield agreement with Japan. 

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2017-09-18 12:15

Author information

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We will be examining policy discussions that will define the news publishing environment of the future, the key topics being internet governance, privacy and copyright. Click here to learn more about our work.

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