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EU-US 'Privacy Shield' data deal needs improvement, say MEPs

EU-US 'Privacy Shield' data deal needs improvement, say MEPs

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(BRUSSELS) - The European Parliament urged the EU Commission Thursday to go on negotiating with the United States over the proposed 'Privacy Shield' protection for EU citizens' data transferred to the US for commercial purposes.

In their resolution, MEPs welcomed efforts by the Commission and the US administration to achieve "substantial improvements" in the Privacy Shield compared to the Safe Harbour decision which it is to replace.

However, they also voiced concern about "deficiencies" in the proposed new arrangement negotiated by the Commission, notably:

  • the US authorities' access to data transferred under the Privacy Shield,
  • the possibility of collecting bulk data, in some cases, which does not meet the criteria of "necessity" and "proportionality" laid down in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,
  • the proposed US ombudsperson, a new institution that MEPs accept is a step forward, but believe to be neither "sufficiently independent", nor "vested with adequate powers to effectively exercise and enforce its duty", and
  • the complexity of the redress mechanism, which the Commission and US administration need to make more "user-friendly and effective", MEPs say.

Parliament stresses that the Privacy Shield framework gives EU Member States' data protection agencies a prominent role in examining data protection claims and notes their power to suspend data transfers. It also notes the obligation placed upon the US Department of Commerce to resolve such complaints.

MEPs also called on the Commission to conduct periodic "robust reviews" of its decision that Privacy Shield protection is adequate - particularly in the light of experience with the new EU data protection rules which are to take effect in two years.

Further information, European Parliament

Adopted text will be available here (click on 26.05.2016)

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