Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed scepticism at today’s final approval, by the European Commission, of Privacy Shield, a new agreement between on how personal data is handled when transferred overseas.
The EU Member States and the Commission had to scramble to approve a new deal after the European Court of Justice quashed the previous EU-US personal data transfers deal, known as Safe Harbour, which dated back to 2000.
In late 2015, the EU court ruled that the US legal system did not provide EU citizens with a level of personal data protection consistent with EU law, given US electronic mass surveillance practices.
Giant tech companies who store EU citizens’ details in the United States depend on a legal framework to govern the way data can be transferred to their servers for commercial purposes.
Commenting on the new agreement from Brussels today, Ms. Childers said:
“I’m not convinced that the EU Commission and national governments’ efforts to put a new transatlantic data agreement in place will shield EU citizens from the American intelligence community’s electronic dragnet.
“Non-American citizens are explicitly excluded from US surveillance measures, as you would expect.
“This is fundamentally at odds with tech companies desire to assure EU citizens that their data is safe with them.
“It also poses a problem for European companies who have to effectively comply with EU data protection standards that are not matched in stringency across the Atlantic.
“I’m persuaded by the views of my colleague who lead the work on data protection reform in the European Parliament, and those of Max Schrems, the activist whose challenge against Facebook in the EU courts brought Safe Harbour down: Privacy Shield itself won’t survive a court challenge.”