Joe Biden signs a directive on EU-US data transfer

This will make it possible for the European Commission to start the process of ratifying the agreement on its own, which is expected to take several months.

It is imperative for the digital economy that the United States move forward with the implementation of a new framework for the transfer of personal data from the European Union to the United States, and on Friday, Vice President Joe Biden of the United States signed an executive order to that effect. The earlier editions of this document had been challenged by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) due to concerns regarding American surveillance operations; but, in March, Washington and Brussels had come to an agreement in principle on this ongoing matter.

The signing of the decree by the president of the United States will make it possible for the European Commission to start the ratification process for itself, which is expected to take a few months. This represents the pinnacle of our combined efforts to reestablish confidence and stability in transatlantic data flows. Gina Raimondo, the Secretary of Commerce for the United States of America, remarked while speaking with reporters. The bill strengthens provisions that try to maintain confidentiality and defend civil liberties in American surveillance activities that target data obtained in Europe and transported or hosted on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Holding out for a more powerful system

Additionally, it establishes a system that is both independent and legally enforceable, allowing citizens of states that are entitled to participate to seek redress if they consider that the intelligence community of the United States has improperly gathered their data. This process allows for two levels of appeal, the first of which is with an officer who is responsible for the protection of civil rights within the American intelligence directorate, and the second of which is with an independent tribunal that is constituted by the Department of Justice. Gina Raimondo stated that these promises will include the transfer of personal data to the United States by EU legislation. “These pledges properly react to the Schrems II decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union,” said Gina Raimondo.

In July 2020, the Court concluded that the “Privacy Shield,” which was utilized by 5,000 American businesses, some of which are industry giants such as Google or Amazon, did not protect against the possibility of “interference with the fundamental rights of the persons whose data is transferred.” Max Schrems, a prominent person in the struggle for data protection who was already at the root of the 2015 verdict on the ancestor of the “Privacy Shield” and “Safe Harbor,” filed a complaint against Facebook to initiate this legal proceeding.

During the meeting, officials from the US administration admitted that it was likely that the revised version may face additional challenges in the future. However, they guaranteed that it was crafted to satisfy the earlier concerns raised by European courts. Companies doing business in the EU that transfer or host data over the Atlantic have been thrown into a state of legal limbo as a result of the judgment made by the CJEU. Since then, to continue these transactions while they wait for a system that is more stable and long-lasting, they have resorted to alternative options, some of which have a more murky legal status.

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