EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Third review welcomes progress while identifying steps for improvement

privacy shield

(Credit: European Union)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Today the European Commission publishes its report on the third annual review of the functioning of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The report confirms that the U.S. continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred under the Privacy Shield from the EU to participating companies in the U.S. Since the second annual review, there have been a number of improvements in the functioning of the framework, as well as appointments to key oversight and redress bodies, such as the Privacy Shield Ombudsperson. Being in the third year of the Shield’s operation, the review focused on the lessons learnt from its practical implementation and day-to-day functionality. Today there are about 5,000 companies participating in this EU-U.S. data protection framework.

Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, stated: “With around 5,000 participating companies, the Privacy Shield has become a success story. The annual review is an important health check for its functioning. We will continue the digital diplomacy dialogue with our U.S. counterparts to make the Shield stronger, including when it comes to oversight, enforcement and, in a longer-term, to increase convergence of our systems.”

Among the improvements, the third review notes that the U.S. Department of Commerce is ensuring the necessary oversight in a more systematic manner by, for example, carrying out monthly checks of a sample of companies to verify compliance with Privacy Shield principles.

Enforcement action has improved with the Federal Trade Commission taking enforcement action related to the Privacy Shield in seven cases.

An increasing number of EU individuals are making use of their rights under the Privacy Shield and the relevant redress mechanisms are functioning well.

In addition to the appointment of the permanent Ombudsperson, the final two vacancies on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board have been filled, ensuring that it is fully-staffed for the first time since 2016.

However, the Commission recommends that certain concrete steps be taken to better ensure the effective functioning of the Privacy Shield in practice. This includes further strengthening the (re)certification process for companies who want to participate by shortening the time of the (re)certification process; expanding compliance checks, including concerning false claims of participation in the framework; and developing additional guidance for companies related to human resources data. The Commission also expects the Federal Trade Commission to further step up its investigations into compliance with substantive requirements of the Privacy Shield and provide the Commission and the EU data protection authorities with information on ongoing investigations.

Background

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield decision was adopted on 12 July 2016 and the Privacy Shield framework became operational on 1 August 2016. It protects the fundamental rights of anyone in the EU whose personal data is transferred to certified companies in the United States for commercial purposes and brings legal clarity for businesses relying on transatlantic data transfers.

The Commission committed to reviewing the arrangement on an annual basis, to assess if it continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data. The first and second annual review took place in September 2017 and October 2018, respectively.

On 12 September 2019, the Director-General for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Tiina Astola, and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, launched the discussions for the third review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (statement). The findings in this report are based on meetings with representatives of all U.S. government departments in charge of running the Privacy Shield, including the Department of Commerce, the Federal Trade Commission, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice, which took place in Washington in September 2019, as well as on input from a wide range of stakeholders, including feedback from companies and privacy NGOs. Representatives of the EU’s independent data protection authorities also participated in the review. There is currently litigation pending before the Court of Justice of the European Union on EU-U.S. data transfers, which may also have an impact on the Privacy Shield. A hearing took place in July 2019 in case C-311/18 (Schrems II) and, once the Court’s judgement is issued, the Commission will assess its consequences for the Privacy Shield.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The ECB tells Berlin that a Germanic Eurozone is unacceptable and doesn’t work

Fear casts again a cold, ugly shadow over Europe; Turkey sides with Russia

These technologies are playing a major role at the Cricket World Cup

Stolen colonial-era objects will be ‘unconditionally’ returned, says the Netherlands

MEPs call on Russia to stop illegitimate prosecution of Lithuanian judges

Climate emergency: City mayors are ‘world’s first responders’, says UN chief

New poll shows what people think coronavirus will do to their economies

The four top Americans who flew to Europe perplexed things about Trump’s intentions

2019 ‘a critical year’ for Somali politics and development says Security Council

Is Europe misjudging its abilities to endure more austerity and unemployment?

Building a European Health Union: Stronger crisis preparedness and response for Europe

Member States’ compliance with EU law in 2018: efforts are paying off, but improvements still needed

Hungary: people born in the 2020s won’t have legal rights any more to buy tobacco

From books to bikes: 4 unexpected gender gaps

Medicines from the sky: how drones can save lives

Unity, regional cooperation and international support needed for Horn of Africa to develop sustainably

2019 European Elections gets backing from professional footballers

Natural hazards don’t always spell disaster: UN risk reduction chief

The two big uncertainties shaping our future

Can the EU afford a trade war with China?

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

Metrics of the Sustainable Developments Goals: Can we trust our data?

Coding in Namibia: UN supports young women’s computing career dreams

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Second review shows improvements but a permanent Ombudsperson should be nominated by 28 February 2019

3 ways digitalization will help end crime

Changing healthcare systems with simple technological solutions

EntEx Organises 5 Summer Schools for Young Entrepreneurs across Europe in June/July 2014

Talent, not technology, is the key to success in a digital future

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

UN Envoy urges Burundi leaders to ‘seize opportunities for national unity and peace’

Greece lost a month that cannot be found neither in “mini Summits” nor in Berlin

Belgium: keep up reforms to increase employment and productivity growth

Ebola not an international ‘health emergency’ but risks spreading across DR Congo border, warns UN health agency

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

South Korea: A cherished partner for the EU

Commission considers anti-dumping duty on Chinese solar glass imports

3 ways sustainable supply chains can build better business in a post-COVID world

Commission issues guidance on the participation of third country bidders in the EU procurement market

How regenerative agroforestry could solve the climate crisis

Davos on Climate Change: citizens demanding more actions while CEOs tried to balance profit with sustainability

UN ‘determined to lead by example’ on disability rights: Guterres

3 reasons why consumer demand matters for the post-COVID-19 recovery

Service Engineer Intern – 1991

This is why many young people have no access to proper education

This man is installing 100 trash barriers in Bali’s rivers to stop plastic pollution

FROM THE FIELD: Weeding out Mexico’s unwanted beach invader

Infrastructural and system barriers to Universal Health Coverage: get in my patient’s shoes

This Kenyan company makes fuel from human poo

We must move from egocentric to ecocentric leadership to safeguard our planet

Ukraine turns again to the EU for more money

The Greta effect? Why businesses are more committed to climate action in 2020

World Maritime Day: Commissioner Vălean calls for support and safe return of seafarers

FROM THE FIELD: South Sudan’s green shoots, highlight environmental recovery from war

Why the way of loving closes doors of health?

3 things to know about our Sustainable Development Impact Summit

After this year’s Climate Action Summit, what happens next?

EU Court of Justice invalidates Safe Harbour and the game for thousands US businesses suddenly changes

How tech can lead reskilling in the age of automation

The European Union continues to lead the global fight against climate change

Britain declares trade war on mainland Europe

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s