EU finds US data transfer deal 'adequate' in first year review

EU finds US data transfer deal 'adequate' in first year review
© Getty Images

The European Union determined that the so-called Privacy Shield, a deal allowing U.S. firms to store EU citizen's data stateside, had performed 'adequate[ly],' according to its first annual report. 

The report, released Wednesday, found that the deal "ensures an adequate level of protection for personal data that has been transferred from the European Union to organisations in the U.S."

Privacy Shield is the second attempt at a framework to exempt U.S. companies from EU privacy laws requiring all data to be stored within the EU without a contract guaranteeing protections. Around 2,400 companies currently operate through Privacy Shield. 

The deal grew from the ashes of the first framework, known as Safe Harbor, which activist Max Schrems dismantled through the EU courts.

The report notes that while the current system works, it could be tweaked to work better. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"Transatlantic data transfers are essential for our economy, but the fundamental right to data protection must be ensured also when personal data leaves the EU. Our first review shows that the Privacy Shield works well, but there is some room for improving its implementation," said EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová in a statement announcing the report. 

The report offers certain suggested actions, including better informing EU citizens of their avenues to redress complaints, improving monitoring of businesses and bolstering coordination between federal enforcement agencies. It also asked the United States to fill empty posts on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.