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Monday, May 28, 2018

Support for Privacy Shield Waning in the EU

During the week prior to the General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect two of the top EU officials responsible for data protection matters expressed their declining acceptance of the Privacy Shield framework as a viable mechanism for cross-border data transfers.  Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor, was quoted as saying “Privacy Shield is still there but is less relevant for me because the entire set of standards, including the transfer, should be subject to higher standards.”  With the GDPR in place, he said, US firms will no longer be able to use Privacy Shield as a “free pass” to use data as they see fit.  A few days earlier, Vera Jourova, the EU Justice Commissioner, who had unsuccessfully pressed the Trump administration to live up to its commitments with respect to an ombudsman and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, stated “I made clear that my patience is running to an end.”  The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) scheduled a vote on a report on the functioning of Privacy Shield for May 24.  Earlier in the month, the Irish High Court rejected Facebook's attempt to stop the Court's referral of questions about the legality and sufficiency of both Privacy Shield and standard contractual clauses to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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