February 29, 2016

WASHINGTON – The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the global voice of the tech sector, released the following statement today from Senior Vice President for Global Policy Josh Kallmer regarding the public release of the text of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.

“We welcome the publication of the text of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, which aims to create a strengthened mechanism for transatlantic data transfers, consistent with the high levels of privacy protection in both the European Union and United States,” Kallmer said. “After our initial review, it appears that the two sides have achieved the objective of securing an agreement that both enhances privacy protections and provides the certainty needed to promote innovation and economic growth. We will be reviewing the text more thoroughly in the coming days, and we look forward to engaging with officials in the U.S. government, the European Commission, Member State governments, and EU data protection authorities (DPAs) to support the implementation of this new arrangement.”

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield contains several categories of provisions to address European legal requirements in the areas of both consumer privacy and government access to data in the United States. For example, the agreement: (1) contains increased obligations on companies with respect to how they process and handle the personal data of EU citizens; (2) provides written assurances that U.S. government access to data for national security purposes will be subject to safeguards, limitations, and oversight; (3) creates an “ombudsman” within the U.S. Department of State to respond to European concerns regarding national security access to data; (4) establishes additional and more rigorous approaches – including, as a last resort, binding arbitration under U.S. law – to ensure that EU citizens have access to meaningful, enforceable forms of “redress” in the United States; and (5) allows the two sides, in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, to regularly evaluate the functioning of the arrangement through an annual review mechanism.

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Public Policy Tags: Data & Privacy, Trade & Investment