The pan-European data regulators committee has invalidated the Privacy Shield safe harbour revision proposed by the EU Commission, leaving tech-giants like Google and Facebook into fear of losing transatlantic trade which was valued about $1 trillion in 2014. Regulators have claimed that the agreement poses threat to EU citizen’s data from various NSA data surveillance programs.
What Does US-EU Privacy Shield Establish?
Talks over the EU-US Privacy Shield were settled a month ago by the Obama administration and the European Commission after two years of intensive negotiations. The Privacy Shield replaced the 2000 deal, which allowed over 4000 companies to trade information across the Atlantic. However, the previous deal was rejected by a European court, due to inadequate privacy protection mechanisms.
The new Privacy Shield agreement went through a detailed review by a working group of 28 data protection authorities in Europe. The group indicated that the latest draft of the deal is a “major improvement” over its flawed predecessor. However, their final decision stated that the draft still requires significant improvement as it gives freedom to spy over EU citizens data by US surveillance apparatuses.
Overview of EU-US Privacy Shield Safe Harbour Deal
The latest proposed privacy agenda includes following features:
- Companies should be more transparent with respect to data collection and its use.
- Companies involved in Human Resource Data gathering must cooperate and comply with EU Data Protection Authorities.
- Individuals have the right to file a complaint over mishandling of personal data that must be responded to by the tech companies within 45 days.
- Companies should be educated and aware about the latest Privacy Shield proposals.
- The Federal Trade Commission should be committed to the enforcement of the Privacy Shield framework. This includes receiving referrals of complaints from EU Data Protection Authorities.
You can view the full factsheet of EU-US Privacy Shield here
Australian privacy activist Maximilian Schrems who previously filed a lawsuit against Facebook for intrusive data retention, has indicated that he will challenge the new Privacy Shield if the it doesn’t protects secrecy of citizen’s data. This has massively influenced the working party’s decision on the deal.
The regions national regulators say the so-called Privacy Shield agreement does not sufficiently protect their citizens rights
— Logan (@Logan_Fonoentt) April 18, 2016