US President Joe Biden has signed a decree for a new data protection agreement between the United States and the European Union. The White House announced today that the decree provides new guidance for how US secret services handle data from European Union citizens.
“This is the culmination of our combined efforts to restore confidence and stability to transatlantic data flows,” said US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. “It will enable the continuous flow of data that underpins more than $1 trillion in cross-border trade and investment each year.”
The previous agreement has been cancelled
Last March, the European Union and the United States of America agreed in principle to a new data protection agreement that would enable the transfer of personal data to US digital companies. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) annulled the previous “Privacy Shield” agreement in July 2020 over allegations of espionage.
Specifically, it was about transferring data from European Facebook customers to the USA. The court emphasized that the data exporter must verify whether the rights of the data subject enjoy an equivalent level of protection in the USA. US whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed years ago that US intelligence services and other investigative agencies have extensive access to foreign user data.
The decree, now signed by Biden, states that monitoring of data flows by US secret services can only be done to achieve “specified national security goals” and protect “the privacy and civil liberties” of all people regardless of nationality and location. Accommodation need to consider.
The decree also provides mechanisms for EU citizens who believe they have been “unlawfully targeted by US intelligence activities”. The first level would be a “civil liberties officer,” based in the US Secret Service Directorate, who would review complaints from EU citizens. The second stage is an independent data protection court that can review the administrator’s decisions.
European Union Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders welcomed Biden’s signature. It was an “important step in our determination to securely and freely restore transatlantic data traffic,” Reynders wrote on Twitter.
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