April 15, 2016
A group of European data protection authorities, known as the Article 29 Working Party, is refusing to support the proposed transatlantic data transfer deal known as the “Privacy Shield.” In a highly anticipated opinion issued Wednesday – which does not bode well for US companies anxiously awaiting guidance after the invalidation of Safe Harbor last year – the Working Party criticized the Privacy Shield for its failure to provide protection for EU citizens’ data against US government surveillance programs.

In February, the European Commission and US Department of Commerce announced a new deal to replace the Safe Harbor mechanism for transferring personal data from Europe to the United States. While acknowledging that the Privacy Shield was an improvement that would impose new and heightened obligations on US companies to protect Europeans’ privacy, the Working Party expressed numerous concerns over the ways transferred data may be used for commercial or national security purposes.

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