The European Union (EU) and the U.S. are set to implement a new deal to protect transatlantic data flows, after the European Commission adopted the controversial agreement.
EU Justice Commissioner, Vera Jourova, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Brussels.
The new so-called Privacy Shield was to replace the Safe Harbor framework, which the EU’s top court struck down in 2015 as insufficient after revelations in 2013 of mass spying by U.S. intelligence authorities.
Jourova said over 4,000 firms had conducted transatlantic business using Safe Harbor, which regulated how businesses in the EU and the U.S. share data.
However, the court found that Safe Harbor did not fully safeguard the rights of EU citizens.
EU officials argued that Privacy Shield had been designed to prevent the indiscriminate collection of Europeans’ private data.
“It brings stronger data protection standards that are better enforced, safeguards on government access and easier redress for individuals in case of complaints,’’ Jourova said.
But data protection authorities and campaigners have criticised the agreement, which is expected to be challenged in court.
“Consumer redress mechanisms and the overall value and structure of the whole scheme remain as messy and complex as ever.
“The shield is cracked beyond repair and is unlikely to stand scrutiny by the European Court of Justice,’’ Monique Goyens of the European consumer organisation BEUC said in a statement.
Report says companies in the EU are supposed to freely share personal data only with jurisdictions that provide data privacy protections comparable to those within the bloc.