Hot on the heels of the European Commission’s official review of the functioning of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, the Article 29 Working Party of EU data protection regulators has issued its own report on the matter. The summary of findings by the Working Party, which draws from both written submissions and oral contributions, begins by commending U.S. authorities for their efforts in establishing a procedural framework to support the operation of Privacy Shield but quickly shifts to the Working Party’s concerns. Should the concerns not be addressed by the time of the second joint review, the Working Party notes that its members will “take appropriate action,” including bringing a Privacy Shield adequacy decision to national courts for reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling.
Please join us for our November 2017 Privacy and Cybersecurity Events.
Last Wednesday, President Trump signed an immigration-related Executive Order titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” that, among other things, removed the ability of federal agencies to extend protections under the Privacy Act to anyone other than U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Some initial observers have suggested that this means that the U.S. government is pulling back from its commitments to provide privacy protections to EU citizens, thus putting in peril the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. Upon closer examination, however, the Executive Order does not impact any of the U.S. commitments under the Privacy Shield, nor does it revoke protections for EU citizens under the Privacy Act provided pursuant to the Judicial Redress Act.
The February 29, 2016 announcement of the new EU-U.S. data transfer framework—the Privacy Shield—was accompanied by over 130 pages of documentation and significantly more operational details than its predecessor, Safe Harbor. We have reviewed the Privacy Shield materials and published a comprehensive breakdown of the changes from Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield and the practical impact on business: Inside the New and Improved EU-U.S. Data Transfer Framework.