As we reported yesterday, the United States and the European Commission have reached a political agreement on a new framework for transatlantic data flows, referred to as the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) released a fact sheet yesterday to coincide with the announcement of the agreement.
The fact sheet includes a series of bullet points listing ways in which the Privacy Shield (1) “significantly improves commercial oversight and enhances privacy protections,” and (2) “demonstrates the U.S. Commitments to limitations and safeguards on national security.” On the first point, Commerce states that “EU individuals will have access to multiple avenues to resolve concerns,” including alternative dispute resolution at no cost to individuals. In addition, Commerce “will step in directly and use best efforts to resolve referred complaints” using a “special team with significant new resources.” On the second point, the fact sheet references President Obama’s executive actions to enhance privacy protections and oversight relating to U.S. government surveillance activities. Finally, Commerce states that “the United States is making the commitment to respond to appropriate requests” regarding U.S. intelligence activity, in a manner that is consistent with national security obligations.