EU Member States Approve EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

Published On: Jul. 08, 2016

Last Updated: Oct. 05, 2020

Representatives from EU member states have given their approval of the revised Privacy Shield data transfer program, setting the stage for its formal approval and implementation in the immediate future. According to European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip and Commissioner Věra Jourová, the member states comprising the Article 31 Committee gave “their strong support to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.” In a statement, the two explained that the Privacy Shield “is fundamentally different from the old ‘Safe Harbour’: It imposes clear and strong obligations on companies handling the data and makes sure that these rules are followed and enforced in practice.”  Representatives from four member states reportedly abstained from the vote.

The Article 29 Working Party, a similar group comprised of data protection officials from the 28 EU member states, previously reviewed an earlier version of the Privacy Shield and found that it had some problems. Now that the requisite majority of the Article 31 Committee has voted to approve the revised version, the final step, an adequacy determination by the European Commission, is expected next week.