French privacy groups challenge US-EU pact in court

French privacy groups challenge US-EU pact in court
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A nascent data-sharing pact between the United States and the European Union is facing another obstacle as privacy groups challenge the agreement in a European court.

French privacy advocacy organization La Quadrature du Net, non-profit internet service provider French Data Network and its Federation FDN industry association have challenged the legality of the agreement, according to Reuters.


Another privacy group, Digital Rights Ireland, challenged the legality of the Privacy Shield pact in October. The groups argue that attempts to curb U.S. surveillance are not enough and that the pact should be annulled.

An E.U. high court originally struck down the Privacy Shield agreement in October, citing similar concerns that the U.S. could not properly protect privacy due to its surveillance practices.

An E.U. spokesperson declined to comment to Reuters on the case.

The U.S. and E.U. launched Privacy Shield this summer after lengthy deliberations. The agreement gives the two a framework to exchange personal data collected commercially between the two jurisdictions.

More than 500 U.S. companies have signed up for it so far, and another 1,000 are being processed for approval by the Department of Commerce, according to Reuters.

E.U. law dictates that acts can be challenged directly before the E.U. courts in the first two months after they’ve been enacted. After the two months, challenges go through a lengthier process in national courts.