December 8, 2023

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EU and US renew privacy shield: third time lucky?

EU and US renew privacy shield: third time lucky?

EU agrees with US proposal to reinstate crumbling privacy shield Will the frame hold up this time?

“Today we are taking an important step towards giving citizens confidence that their data is safe, deepening economic ties between the EU and the US, while reaffirming our shared values.” Off These words Ursula von der Leyen announced a new data deal between the EU and the US after both governments gave each other the word yes in December.

The new deal replaces Data Shield, which exploded in 2020. As a result of that ruling, US tech companies hosting their sites in Europe had to keep European users’ data in the European region. The deal sees the US as a ‘member state’ of the Union, again giving it the EU’s blessing to allow data to cross the Atlantic.

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To this end, Washington must guarantee an ‘adequate level of protection’ for data. The new framework would give US intelligence services much less access to European citizens’ data. One of the main pitfalls of the previous data shield was that companies were sometimes required by US law to release data at the request of intelligence services. A court will also be set up if European citizens believe their rights have been violated.

Restoring data armor has mainly economic objectives. The value of data exchanges between Europe and the US is estimated at over a trillion dollars. Meta has been shouting from the rooftops for some time that it will not be able to offer its services in Europe without a new data deal. Does the deal open the door to a new books platform?

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It’s still too late to chill the champagne. Austrian lawyer Max Schrems criticized the deal on Twitter. He says it’s a copy of the previous data shield he fought so hard against.

For those who don’t know the man, Schrems twice broke the data agreement between Europe and the US. He started his legal quest after the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2015 and won again in 2020. Schrems is preparing to take his citizens’ movement, Noib, back to court.

Schrems’ opinion is shared by other experts. Lisa de Smet, Cranium’s chief data protection consultant, told us earlier this year that Europe is essentially bowing to the US on this deal, but not the other way around. So Schrems seems to have a good chance of getting his rights before the European Court for a third time.