data collection

“We have negotiated a mechanism which is robust and offers significant improvements compared to the previous scheme” in terms of data protection, declared Andrus, responsible for questions linked to digital markets, during a press conference .


“Both our citizens and our businesses will benefit” from the agreement concluded between the EU and the U.S., he affirmed.

Brussels and Washington were working toward this new agreement after the repeal of the “Safe Harbor” directive by the EU Court of Justice (COJ) in October 2015, deciding in favor of an Austrian law student, Maximilien Schrems, who had launched a lawsuit against the American giant Facebook.

“Safe Harbor” had previously been put in a bad light by Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations regarding the massive surveillance program PRISM of the American National Security Agency (NSA).

European agencies responsible for data protection, such as the National Information Technology and Liberty Committee (Cnil) in France, had given European and American institutions until Jan. 31, 2016 in order to “find legal and technical solutions.”

The legal and technical framework of the 2002 directive, known as “Safe Harbor,” is currently used by more than 4,000 businesses which found themselves without a replacement solution in order to continue operations in the absence of a compromise between Brussels and Washington.

An annual examination by the European Commission and the American Department of Commerce will permit authorities to assure the proper functioning of the system and guarantee that the commitments of the U.S. in terms of espionage will be met, Ansip said.

In the end, European data protection authorities will work with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in order to ensure system oversight and to examine potential complaints from European citizens who consider that their data has been used improperly, he specified.

Annual revisions to this new agreement, already known as “Safe Harbor 2,” are foreseen.

For his part, Vera Jourova, the European commissioner for justice, has made it known that both parties wish for the new framework to enter into force as soon as possible.

This agreement is nevertheless as strongly criticized as its predecessor by Maximilien Schrems, who has announced on the social network Twitter that he will also contest this text in European courts, even if the lawsuit takes years to be heard.

Otherwise, according to Member of European Parliament for the German Greens, Jan Philip Albrecht, an activist for public liberties, this agreement would remain exclusively political for the moment, as there has not yet been any binding publication of the legal text. Enditem

source: Xinhua


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.