Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework

U.S. and European Commission Announce “Agreement in Principle” on a New Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework

At a joint press conference on Friday, March 25, 2022, President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the U.S. and the EU had reached an “agreement in principle on a new framework for transatlantic data flows.”

Previously, the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework provided companies with a mechanism to comply with cross-border data protection requirements when transferring personal data across the Atlantic. However, on July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared in the Schrems II case that the European Commission’s adequacy decision underlying the Privacy Shield invalid. This announcement thus comes after a period of negotiation to hash out a new arrangement.

While the specific details of the agreement remain unclear at this moment in time, the new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework, as stated in a fact sheet published by The White House, will ensure that:

  • “signals intelligence collection may be undertaken only where necessary to advance legitimate national security objectives, and must not disproportionately impact the protection of individual privacy and civil liberties;
  • EU individuals may seek redress from a new multi-layer redress mechanism that includes an independent Data Protection Review Court that would consist of individuals chosen from outside the U.S. Government who would have full authority to adjudicate claims and direct remedial measures as needed; and
  • U.S. intelligence agencies will adopt procedures to ensure effective oversight of new privacy and civil liberties standards.”

Businesses that engage in EU-U.S. cross-border data transfers should make sure to stay up to date as the agreement begins to take shape. Beckage attorneys include dedicated information privacy professionals (CIPP/US and CIPP/E), as certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, and are equipped to provide guidance in navigating the complexities of cross-border data transfer requirements.

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