EU Countries Seal Data Transfer Deal With United States After Years of Uncertainty
July 2023 by Marc Jacob
The EU’s new transatlantic data transfer deal with the United States has been signed off by the 27 EU Member States, ending three years of legal uncertainty. By finally ratifying the European Commission’s adequacy decision, national governments formally approved the new EU-US Data Privacy Framework, which the Commission adopted today.
Today’s decision means that EU and US businesses will soon have full legal certainty again to transfer personal data across the Atlantic. Last week, the United States government announced that it had completed all necessary steps for implementation.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe) has long advocated for a durable legal framework facilitating EU-US data flows while protecting people’s privacy.
US President Biden signed an Executive Order last year, introducing new data protection safeguards for EU citizens. The Order also established a two-step redress mechanism, allowing Europeans to enforce those protections before US independent authorities.
In December, the European Commission acknowledged that these new safeguards will provide Europeans with a level of data protection that is equivalent to EU law. National governments, however, still had to approve that so-called adequacy decision.
Data flows are vital to transatlantic trade and the EU-US economic relationship, which is worth €5.5 trillion per year. Nevertheless, the two economies had been left without guidelines for data transfers after an EU Court ruling invalidated the previous framework back in 2020.
The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe’s Public Policy Director, Alexandre Roure:
“CCIA Europe welcomes the formal approval of the EU-US Data Privacy Framework by EU Member States. This is a major breakthrough. After waiting for years, companies and organisations of all sizes on both sides of the Atlantic finally have the certainty of a durable legal framework that allows for transfers of personal data from the EU to the United States.”
“First and foremost we applaud Member States’ decision to end this gridlock, but CCIA would also like to thank the Commission and the US Government for their hard work to create a new mechanism that facilitates data flows while also protecting the rights of individuals.”