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EU-US Privacy Shield

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us-eu-privacy-sheild-185x185A press release was issued this evening by the European Commission, confirming that the European Commission and the United States have agreed on a new framework for transatlantic data flows known as the EU-US Privacy Shield.

The European Commission has stated that the EU-US Privacy Shield will reflect the requirements set out by the European Court of Justice in its ruling on 6 October 2015 (which declared the old Safe Harbor framework invalid), by including the following elements:


  • strong obligations on companies handling Europeans’ personal data, and robust enforcement;
  • clear safeguards and transparency obligations on U.S. government access; and
  • effective protection of EU citizens’ rights with redress possibilities.


The College of Commissioners has now mandated Vice-President Andrus Ansip and Commissioner Věra Jourová to prepare a draft adequacy decision which can then be adopted by the College.  In the interim, the United States will make the necessary preparations to put in place the new Privacy Shield framework.

This agreement is good news, as it offers at least the hope of a solution.  However, we should wait to review the small print before breathing a sigh of relief.  Many (including Schrems) are already criticising the proposals and we will find out tomorrow what the A29 Working Party think of it.

Press release available here: