European Parliament, EDPS Call for Revisions to Privacy Shield

    Jun 03, 2016

    The European Parliament on May 26 adopted a resolution calling on the European Commission to renegotiate with the United States to make improvements in EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The non-binding resolution outlines a number of deficiencies in the proposed agreement, including:

    • Access by U.S. authorities to data transferred under the Privacy Shield
    • The continued potential for bulk data collection in violation of EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
    • A complicated redress mechanism
    • An inadequate and insufficiently independent U.S. ombudsperson that can exercise and enforce the agreement

    The Parliament’s resolution reinforces the April 13 opinion of the Article 29 Working Party of EU data protection officials, which outlined similar deficiencies. The resolution is also consistent with a May 30 opinion issued by European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Giovanni Buttarelli.  

    “I appreciate the efforts made to develop a solution to replace Safe Harbour but the Privacy Shield as it stands is not robust enough to withstand future legal scrutiny before the Court,” he said in a press release. “Significant improvements are needed should the European Commission wish to adopt an adequacy decision, to respect the essence of key data protection principles with particular regard to necessity, proportionality and redress mechanisms.”

    The European Commission said it would amend the decision approving the Privacy Shield in line with the Article 29 Working Party opinion, the Parliament resolution, and the EDPS opinion, and it is in discussions with the United States to do so. Once an amended version of the decision is completed, it will be considered by a regulatory committee of EU member country representatives. If a favorable opinion is forthcoming, the commission is expected to adopt the Privacy Shield decision by late summer.

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