EU-US personal data exchanges

 

SUMMARY OF:

Commission communication (COM(2016) 117 final) — Transatlantic Data Flows: Restoring Trust through Strong Safeguards

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE COMMUNICATION?

It takes stock of the steps taken by the European Union (EU) to achieve the objectives set out in the 2013 communication on restoring trust in EU-US data flows. That European Commission communication followed reports of large-scale intelligence collection programmes in the US.

KEY POINTS

The 2013 communication set out 3 key actions designed to restore trust in EU-US data flows:

The reform package is composed of 2 instruments:

The package was formally adopted in April 2016.

The 2013 communication on the Safe Harbour pointed to a number of weaknesses in the functioning of the arrangement, in particular a lack of:

The achievements of the EU-US Privacy Shield, the new set of rules that replaces Safe Harbour, are set out in the communication in 4 categories:

The communication states that the Umbrella Agreement provides a harmonised and comprehensive set of data protection safeguards that will apply to all transatlantic exchanges between relevant authorities in the area of criminal law enforcement (or, alternatively, between private entities and law enforcement authorities based on an international agreement, such as those on Passenger Name Records or the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program). In particular, it:

The Umbrella Agreement was signed by the EU and the US on 2 June 2016.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

* KEY TERMS

Safe Harbour: name given to the 2000 EU-US set of rules for the transfer of personal data from the EU to US companies and their subsequent use. The Commission’s Safe Harbour adequacy decision (finding that the rules provided an adequate level of protection for transatlantic data transfers) was invalidated by the European Court of Justice in October 2016 and has in the meantime been replaced by the EU-US Privacy Shield.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council Transatlantic Data Flows: Restoring Trust through Strong Safeguards (COM(2016) 117 final, 29.2.2016)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, pp. 1-88)

Directive (EU) 2016/680 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Council Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, pp. 89-131)

last update 28.11.2016