After two years of negotiations, the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce reached on 2 February 2016 a political agreement on a new framework for transatlantic exchanges of personal data for commercial purposes: the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (IP/16/216). This new framework will protect the fundamental rights of Europeans where their data is transferred to the United States and ensure legal certainty for businesses.
The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield reflects the requirements set out by the European Court of Justice in its ruling on 6 October 2015, which declared the old Safe Harbour framework invalid.
The new arrangement will provide stronger obligations on companies in the U.S. to protect the personal data of Europeans and stronger monitoring and enforcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), including through increased cooperation with European Data Protection Authorities. The new arrangement includes written commitments and assurance by the U.S. that any access by public authorities to personal data transferred under the new arrangement on national security grounds will be subject to clear conditions, limitations and oversight, preventing generalised access. The newly created Ombudsperson mechanism will handle and solve complaints or enquiries raised by EU individuals in this context.
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