European Commission Adopts Adequacy Decision For Safe U.S.-EU Data Flows
The European Commission has adopted its adequacy decision for the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework, which will allow personal data to be transferred from Europe to U.S. companies safely and securely.
On the basis of the new adequacy decision, personal data can flow safely from the EU to US companies participating in the Framework, without having to put in place additional data protection safeguards.
The EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework introduces new binding safeguards to address all the concerns raised by the European Court of Justice. It includes limiting access to EU data by US intelligence services to what is necessary and proportionate, and establishing a Data Protection Review Court (DPRC), to which EU individuals will have access.
The new framework introduces significant improvements compared to the mechanism that existed under the Privacy Shield. For example, if the DPRC finds that data was collected in violation of the new safeguards, it will be able to order the deletion of the data. The new safeguards in the area of government access to data will complement the obligations that US companies importing data from EU will have to subscribe to.
“The new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework will ensure safe data flows for Europeans and bring legal certainty to companies on both sides of the Atlantic,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Following and agreement that she reached with U.S. President Joe Biden last year, the United States has implemented unprecedented commitments to establish the new framework.
EU individuals will benefit from several redress avenues in case their data is wrongly handled by US companies. This includes free of charge independent dispute resolution mechanisms and an arbitration panel.
In addition, the US legal framework provides for a number of safeguards regarding the access to data transferred under the framework by US public authorities, in particular for criminal law enforcement and national security purposes. Access to data is limited to what is necessary and proportionate to protect national security.
“Today’s announcement represents the culmination of years of close cooperation between the United States and the European Union, and affirms the strength of our transatlantic relationship founded on our shared democratic values and vision for the world,” Biden said.
“The decision reflects our joint commitment to strong data privacy protections and will create greater economic opportunities for our countries and companies on both sides of the Atlantic,” he added.
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