The European Commission has today published its Report on the first annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (the Report is accompanied with a Staff Working Document, Infographic, and Q&A). The Commission concludes that Privacy Shield continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred from the EU to Privacy Shield-certified companies in the United States. With its conclusion, the Commission also makes a number of recommendations to further improve the Privacy Shield framework. The Report follows a joint press statement by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and EU Commissioner Jourová on September 21, 2017, closing the review and reaffirming that the “United States and the European Union share an interest in the [Privacy Shield] Framework’s success and remain committed to continued collaboration to ensure it functions as intended.”
The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield is a framework that effects the lawful transfer of personal data from the EEA to Privacy Shield-certified companies in the U.S. The Privacy Shield framework was unveiled by the EU and United States on July 12, 2016 and the Privacy Shield framework became operational on August 1, 2016. To date, there are over 2,400 in companies (including more than 100 EU-based companies) that have certified, with 400 applications under review.
The Privacy Shield provides an annual review and evaluation procedure intended to regularly verify that the findings of the Commission’s adequacy decision are still factually and legally justified. Under the Privacy Shield, an “Annual Joint Review” is conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission, with participation by the FTC, EU data protection authorities and representatives of the Article 29 Working Party, and “other departments and agencies involved in the implementation of the Privacy Shield,” including the U.S. Intelligence Community and the Privacy Shield Ombudsperson for matters pertaining to national security. In preparation for the Review, the Commission also sought feedback from a number of trade associations, NGOs, and certified companies. (See our earlier posts on the purpose of the first annual review here and here.) Continue Reading