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On Thursday, 5 July, MEPs adopted a draft resolution concluding that the transatlantic data protection scheme (Privacy Shield) does not offer a sufficient protection for European citizens. The resolution was adopted by 303 votes to 223 and 29 abstentions and confirms the request for suspension of the Privacy Shield unless the United States fully complies with the GDPR, by 1 September 2018.

The Data Protection Shield, better known as the « Privacy Shield », is a self-certification mechanism for companies established in the United States that has been recognized by the European Commission as providing an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred by a European entity to companies established in the United States. This mechanism is therefore considered to offer legal guarantees for such data transfers.

The plenary session approved a resolution passed in June by 29 votes to 25 by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee.

« The Commission will not hesitate to fulfill its obligations and make use of its power to suspend the protection of privacy shield, » MEP Věra Jourová told MEPs during the debate preceding the vote. She warned: « Without the framework of the privacy shield, the transfer of data will be mainly on the basis of contractual guarantees between EU companies and the United States, which will more expensive, especially for SMEs« .

On the same day, Abigail Slater, special assistant to President Trump for technology, telecommunications and cybersecurity, told the press his impressions of the resolution. For her, much progress has been made by US authorities since the implementation of the device – progress that is often underestimated in some rhetoric.

In addition, according to a US source, the EP resolution refers to several factual inaccuracies as to the US authorities’ failures. For this source, the deadline of 1 September is not really a constraint, the real interlocutor is the Commission and not the EP.

Thomas Fraise

For further information:

European Commission Website –

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-216_en.htm

Computer Weekly website –

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252444302/European-Parliament-calls-for-suspension-of-Privacy-Shield

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