European watchdog rejects proposals for US data transfer pact

The European Data Protection Supervisor has come out against a proposed data transfer pact between the US and EU after claiming that the agreement in its current form is still in need of ‘significant improvements’.

Dubbed the EU-US Privacy Shield, the agreement is designed to protect personal data belonging to European citizens stored in the US, a successor to the Safe Harbor pact which was torn up in 2015 after being ruled invalid by the European Court of Justice.

Commenting on the new mechanism, European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli said: “I appreciate the efforts made to develop a solution to replace Safe Harbour but the Privacy Shield as it stands is not robust enough to withstand future legal scrutiny.”

The EU bans the transfer of personal data to parts of the world which fail to offer ‘adequate’ privacy protections but the continent is keen to come up with a workable system of streamlining data transfers to the US in a cost effective manner, enabling US companies to access data without having to seek permission for each new transfer.

Buttarelli’s voice is the latest to come out against the agreement but this does not mean it won’t go ahead.

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