Brussels - July 12, 2016 - In the presence of US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, signed today the Commission’s adequacy decision on the EU-US Privacy Shield, completing the EU’s long-awaited formal approval of the agreement.
BSA welcomes today’s official conclusion of the Privacy Shield, which paves the way for its entry into force.
Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA │The Software Alliance said: “Privacy Shield is an important development. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the European Commission and the US government, the Privacy Shield will benefit both businesses and consumers by ensuring the continued flow of information across the Atlantic on which so many businesses rely, while also providing stronger privacy safeguards.”
“The free flow of data is vital for the transatlantic economy. We are talking about at least half a trillion dollars’ worth of commerce annually” she added. “The movement of data across borders enables European and US companies to offer the best services and products to consumers. It is also essential to creating the economic growth and job creation that is so important in both the US and EU.”
Among key Privacy Shield improvements are the assurances to limit bulk collection of data by US Intelligence agencies, an improved legal redress mechanism for EU citizens, and new obligations related to the retention and onward transfer of data to third parties. Finally, Privacy Shield also establishes an independent U.S. Ombudsperson whose responsibility will be to investigate complaints from EU citizens pertaining to government access to data.
Since the invalidation of Safe Harbor by the European Court of Justice in October 2015, companies have had to rely on more cumbersome alternative transfer mechanisms, which are particularly burdensome for small businesses. The Privacy Shield signals a return to a stable framework for data transfers and a more efficient process for thousands of companies.