EU-US Privacy Law Remains Unsettled After Article 29 Working Party Demands Changes To Proposed Privacy Shield Agreement

Author:Ms Billee Elliott McAuliffe, Alfred J. Ludwig and Krista C. McCormack
Profession:Lewis Rice

On April 13, 2016, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (Working Party) refused to endorse the proposed Privacy Shield agreement between the United States and European Commission (Commission) slated to replace, as early as this summer, the recently invalidated "Safe Harbor" agreement between the two powers. The Working Party cited a need for revisions and clarifications of several points in the proposal before it would bless the Privacy Shield, in part because "some key data protection principles as outlined in European law are not reflected in" the proposal.

Among other things, the Working Party took issue with the national security exceptions in the proposed Privacy Shield, which, according to its opinion, would allow for "massive and indiscriminate collection of personal data originating from the EU" in violation of the fundamental rights of its citizens. With respect to these exceptions, the Working Party noted that it will look to forthcoming rulings of the European Court of Justice that could shed light on the legality of mass data collection in the EU. Another Privacy Shield item with which the Working Party took issue was the complexity of the proposed redress mechanism. The Working Party...

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