On October 19, 2018, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross issued a joint statement regarding the second annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, taking place in Brussels beginning October 18. The statement highlights the following:
- a significant number of companies – over 4,000 –have become Privacy Shield-certified since the inception of the framework in 2016;
- the appointment of three new members to the U.S. Privacy and Civil Oversights Board (“PCLOB”), as well as the PCLOB’s declassification of its report on a presidential directive that extended certain signals intelligence privacy protections to foreign citizens;
- the regulators’ ongoing review of the functioning of the Privacy Shield Ombudsperson Mechanism, and the need for the U.S. to promptly appoint a permanent Under Secretary;
- recent privacy incidents affecting U.S. and EU residents, with both U.S. and EU regulators reaffirming the “need for strong privacy enforcement to protect our citizens and ensure trust in the digital economy;” and
- the Commerce Department’s promise to revoke the certification of companies that do not comply with the Privacy Shield’s principles.
The European Commission plans to publish a report on the functioning of the Privacy Shield by the end of 2019.