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EU top court sides with consumer privacy in EU-US data shambles

17 July 2020
by BEUC -- last modified 17 July 2020

The Court of Justice of the EU today decided to invalidate the EU-US Privacy Shield.


Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation, commented: 

"We welcome the decision of the Court of Justice. Since its adoption in 2016 we have been saying that the Privacy Shield was not adequate to protect consumers' personal data. The 'shield' was full of cracks and loopholes since the beginning. In addition to the problem of incompatible US state surveillance laws, it weakened fundamental EU data protection principles and did not provide an effective oversight and redress system for EU consumers to protect their rights.

"Without the US adopting a strong and comprehensive data protection framework, including a privacy law at federal level, no future EU-US data flow agreement will stand its ground in court.

"Today's decision also shows the importance of the work of consumer and civil society organisations like Max Schrem's noyb to ensure the GDPR is actually enforced.

"In the context of ongoing trade negotiations with various partners this ruling is also a reminder that the GDPR and citizens' fundamental rights cannot become a bargaining chip."

BEUC acts as the umbrella group in Brussels for its members and its main task is to represent them at European level and defend the interests of all Europe's consumers. BEUC investigates EU decisions and developments likely to affect consumers, with a special focus on five areas identified as priorities by its members: Financial Services, Food, Digital Rights, Consumer Rights & Enforcement and Sustainability.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)