On July 8, 2016, EU representatives on the Article 31 Committee approved the final version of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (“Privacy Shield”) to permit transatlantic transfers of personal data from the EU to the U.S.
As we previously reported, the Privacy Shield is a successor framework to the Safe Harbor, which was invalidated by the Court of Justice of the European Union in October 2015.
The Article 31 Committee’s approval comes after many months of criticism from various EU bodies of the European Commission’s initial February proposal, including the European Parliament, the Article 29 Working Party and the European Data Protection Supervisor.
Andrus Ansip, Vice President for the Digital Single Market on the European Commission, and Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said in a joint statement that “the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield will ensure a high level of protection for individuals and legal certainty for business. It is fundamentally different from the old ‘Safe Harbour’: It imposes clear and strong obligations on companies handling the data and makes sure that these rules are followed and enforced in practice.”
The final seal of approval is expected early next week, with the formal adoption of the Privacy Shield expected on July 12, 2016.
Read Vice President Ansip and Commissioner Jourová’s joint press release.