Safe Harbour Agreements

On 2 February 2016, the European Commission announced with some delay an agreement with the United States on a new framework for transatlantic data flows called the EU-US Privacy Shield. The new regime is based on: (a) strong obligations for companies handling Europeans` personal data and firm application; (b) clear guarantees and transparency obligations for U.S. government access; (c) effective protection of the rights of EU citizens, with several options for redress (including a mediator). Some analysts believe that the ECJ shutdown is likely to undermine new port security negotiations and will not help. The Safe Harbor Agreement between the EC and the US Government essentially promised to protect the data of EU citizens if it was transferred to the US by US companies. On 28 January 2016, an amendment to the Judicial Redress Act (JRA) was added, which could lead to further disruption in negotiations between the US and the EU to replace the Safe Harbour framework. The added language refers to the transmission of personal data for commercial purposes between certified countries and the United States, and adds requirements that the U.S. Secretary of Justice certifies that the foreign country „policy regarding the transfer of personal data for commercial purposes … The national security interests of the United States are not of great importance. So far, national security and surveillance issues have led to fundamental differences in the Safe Harbor negotiations, and the last amendment relates directly to this division. German MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht and activist Max Schrems criticised the new ruling, as they said the Commission could take a „tour of Luxembourg” (where the European Court of Justice is located). [27] Vera Jourova, a Member of the European Commission responsible for consumer protection, said she was convinced that an agreement could be reached by the end of February. [28] Many Europeans have called for a mechanism for individual European citizens to file complaints about the use of their data, as well as a transparency system to ensure that the data of European citizens does not fall into the hands of the US secret services. [29] The Article 29 group acted on this request and stated that it would not be a further delay, until March 2016, to decide on the consequences of the Commission`s new proposal.

[30] The European Commission`s Director of Fundamental Rights, Paul Nemitz, explained at a conference in Brussels in January how the Commission would decide on the adequacy of data protection. [31] The Economist predicts that it will be more difficult for the Court of Justice to make it more risky once the Commission has adopted a strengthened „adequacy decision”. [32] Data protection advocate Joe McNamee summed up the situation by pointing out that the Commission had announced agreements prematurely and had thus lost its right to negotiate. [33] At the same time, the first legal disputes began in Germany: in February 2016, the Hamburg Data Protection Authority was preparing the dispute of three companies that relied on Safe Harbour as a legal basis for their transatlantic data transfers, and two other companies were investigated. [34] On the other hand, a reaction was immediate. [35] On 19 July 2013, Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, told the Vilnius Justice Council: „The Safe Harbour Agreement may not be so secure.