EU reaches a final deal with the US A preliminary deal struck by European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen with President Biden was turned into a final deal yesterday after EU ministers had already approved the deal last weekend.
The European Commission has now formally recognized the United States as a country with adequate protection for the personal data of European citizens. The US is on par with the EU in terms of data protection, although there are still differences.
The agreement is a relief to the thousands of companies that transfer data to and from the US every day. This agreement puts an end to legal uncertainty in this regard. But whether the deal will last long is questionable.
Max Schrems, the Austrian privacy activist responsible for bringing about two previous data deals, will certainly challenge the new deal. According to him, the core of his objections is the US surveillance law still in place. He wants to bring the case before the European Court of Justice by the end of the year. Belgian EU judge Didier Reynders has already counted on this. He said yesterday that the new system is very robust and will stand up to the law.
The executive order signed by President Biden provides binding safeguards limiting access to data by US intelligence agencies to the extent necessary and proportionate to protect national security. An independent and impartial body will be set up to deal with complaints from European citizens who believe the secret services are illegally accessing their data. Finally, these intelligence agencies must revise their policies and procedures to implement the new safeguards.
Walter van Holst, a consultant at privacy consultancy Hooghiemstra & Partners, doubts the firmness of the contracts. According to him, uncertainty about its sustainability is still high. A new US president can always change things unilaterally and instantly. he says in a post on LinkedIn. For example, he designates a possible second term for Donald Trump. Van Holst points out that the contracts have no formal legal basis. According to him, it is still advisable to have a plan B for relocation to the US.
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