A senior EU commissioner has said she would suspend the EU Privacy Shield agreement if the current US administration doesn't play ball. Vera Jourova, the European Union's Commissioner for justice, consumers and gender Equality told Bloomberg that, “I will not hesitate to do it. There's too much at stake.”
Jourova is expected to meet with the US president at the end of March, where she told Bloomberg, she will want “reconfirmation and reassurances” on the integrity of the Atlantic privacy pact.
Privacy Shield is the current data protection regime in the Atlantic Area. In light of revelations about US surveillance practices, the decades old Safe Harbour principles were struck down by European courts in 2015. Privacy Shield, having made it through a long and fraught conception, is intended to save European citizens from the gaze of the kind of US data collection practices revealed by Edward Snowden.
One particular point of contention has been a recent executive order signed by Trump, called Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States. The demands that US agencies “exclude person who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information.” The signing of the order at the end of January, prompted the European commission to ask for reassurance from the US in early February.
While several departments of the US government has reassured European officials that Privacy Shield is moving ahead, the uncertainty surrounding the Trump presidency has reportedly disconcerted European officials. The announcement of the order prompted Jan Philipp Albrecht, the European Parliament's chief negotiator on privacy rules, to call for the suspension of Privacy Shield.
Article By: Max Metzger
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