October 18, 2017 BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A year-old pact underpinning billions of dollars of transatlantic data transfers won a green light from the European Union on Wednesday after a first review to ensure Washington protects Europeans’ data stored on U.S. servers.
The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield was agreed last year after everyday cross-border data transfers were plunged into limbo when the EU’s top court struck down a previous data transfer pact in 2015 because it allowed U.S. spies excessive access to people’s data.
The European Commission last month conducted its first annual review of the framework as it seeks to ensure the United States lives up to its promises to better protect Europeans’ data when they are transferred across the Atlantic - failing which it could suspend the Privacy Shield.
The EU executive said it was satisfied that the framework continues to ensure adequate protection for Europeans’ personal data although it asked Washington to improve the way it works, including by strengthening the privacy protections contained in a controversial portion of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
The conclusion will come as a relief to the more than 2,400 companies signed up to the scheme, including Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook and Microsoft, especially since the Privacy Shield is already being challenged in court by privacy activists.
See the Reuters article here.