Unpacking the New EU-US Data Sharing Agreement
The European Commission and the United States have recently inked the EU-US data sharing agreement, a move that simplifies the legal transfer of personal data across the Atlantic.
This deal has been welcomed by President Joe Biden and EU officials. Despite facing opposition over concerns about the access of US intelligence agencies to European data.
This EU-US data sharing agreement is crucial for tech giants like Meta and Google, as it allows them to continue sharing information with the US. Previous attempts to establish a legal framework for US-EU data sharing were rejected by European courts due to privacy concerns.
This new pact aims to alleviate European worries about personal information shared with US intelligence agencies.
Controversy Surrounding the EU-US Data Sharing Agreement
While Americans are generally protected from electronic surveillance by US spy agencies, foreigners are not. This new EU-US data sharing agreement gives Europeans the right to object if they believe their data has been collected by American intelligence. A Data Protection Review Court, consisting of US judges, will be established to hear these claims.
However, the EU-US data sharing agreement has not been without controversy. The non-profit group NOYB, led by Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, has pledged to challenge the decision.
Schrems argues that changes in US surveillance law are needed to make this work, and these changes are currently absent.
The EU-US Data Privacy Framework, which comes into effect soon, also promises that only “necessary and proportionate” data will be collected. EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders believes this “robust” agreement will allow “personal data to flow freely and safely” from Europe to the US.
In contrast, the US has more relaxed privacy laws compared to the EU. Earlier this year, the EU imposed a $1.3bn fine on Facebook owner Meta.
Ordering the company to stop sharing European users’ data with the US. Meta has warned that without a legal framework for data transfers. It might have to stop offering its products and services in Europe.