EU And US Reach Agreement On New Data Transfer Framework

Author:Ms Samantha Ettari, Alan R. Friedman, Arielle Warshall Katz, Daniel Lennard, Erica D. Klein, Noëlle Lenoir and Alice Jacquin
Profession:Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

 The European Commission announced yesterday that the EU and the U.S. have agreed to a deal to allow U.S. businesses to transfer personal data to and from the EU. The so-called EU-US Privacy Shield was drafted to reflect the requirements set out in the European Court of Justice's October ruling in the Schrems case, which declared that the existing Safe Harbor agreement was invalid.

The European Commission's press release announcing the deal included the following summary of key provisions:

Strong obligations on companies handling Europeans' personal data and robust enforcement: U.S. companies wishing to import personal data from Europe will need to commit to robust obligations on how personal data is processed and individual rights are guaranteed. The Department of Commerce will monitor that companies publish their commitments, which makes them enforceable under U.S. law by the US. Federal Trade Commission. In addition, any company handling human resources data from Europe has to commit to comply with decisions by European DPAs [Data Protection Authorities]. Clear safeguards and transparency obligations on U.S. government access: For the first time, the US has given the EU written assurances that the access of public authorities for law enforcement and national security will be subject to clear limitations, safeguards and oversight mechanisms. These exceptions must be used only to the extent necessary and proportionate. The U.S. has ruled out indiscriminate mass surveillance on the personal data transferred to the US under the new arrangement. To regularly monitor the functioning of the arrangement there will be an annual joint review, which will also include the issue of national security access. The European Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce will conduct the review and invite national intelligence experts from the U.S. and European Data Protection Authorities to it. Effective protection of EU citizens' rights with several redress possibilities: Any citizen who considers that their data has been misused under the new arrangement will have several redress possibilities. Companies have...

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