EU, US launch controversial new data-sharing deal

The European Union and the United States are set to implement a new deal to protect transatlantic data flows, after the European Commission on Tuesday adopted the controversial agreement.

The new, so-called Privacy Shield aims to replace the Safe Harbor framework, which the EU's top court struck down last year as insufficient after revelations in 2013 of mass spying by US intelligence authorities.

More than 4,000 firms had conducted transatlantic business using Safe Harbor, which regulated how businesses in the EU and the US share data. But the court found that Safe Harbor did not fully safeguard the rights of EU citizens.

EU officials argue that Privacy Shield has been designed to prevent the indiscriminate collection of Europeans' private data.

"It brings stronger data protection standards that are better enforced, safeguards on government access and easier redress for individuals in case of complaints," EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said in a statement.

But data protection authorities and campaigners have criticized the agreement, which is expected to be challenged in court.

"Consumer redress mechanisms and the overall value and structure of the whole scheme remain as messy and complex as ever," Monique Goyens of the European consumer organization BEUC said in a statement. "The shield is cracked beyond repair and is unlikely to stand scrutiny by the European Court of Justice."

Companies in the EU are supposed to freely share personal data only with jurisdictions that provide data privacy protections comparable to those within the bloc.

Last update: Tue, 12/07/2016 - 11:33

More from Europe

Italy police arrest seven linked to online global paedophile network

Seven paedophiles linked to a global online network that counted tens of thousands of affiliates have been arrested...

Turkey now top 10 destination for German arms amid refugee crisis

Turkey has jumped into the top 10 in the rankings of destinations for German arms exports as Ankara responds to...

EU proposes corporate tax reforms to cut red tape, tackle abuse

The European Commission unveiled proposals Tuesday aimed at streamlining corporate tax rules across EU member states...

EU Parliament lifts Le Pen immunity over alleged racial slur

The European Parliament on Tuesday lifted the immunity of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France's far-right...

Sweden lowers projection for number of asylum seekers in 2016

Tighter border checks introduced by the European Union and individual European states were Tuesday cited as the main...