Must do better: EU watchdog expresses Privacy Shield doubts

The Privacy Shield, a data sharing agreement between the EU and the US, will suffer the same fate as its predecessor, the Safe Harbour agreement, according to the EU Data Protection Supervisor.

The supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli, said the Privacy Shield is not robust enough to survive proper legal scrutiny, the media reported on Tuesday.

In an opinion on the Privacy Shield, written on May 30, Buttarelli says efforts to find a solution are appreciated, but more work needs to be done:

“The EDPS welcomes the efforts shown by the parties to find a solution for transfers of personal data from the EU to the U.S. for commercial purposes under a system of self-certification,” he wrote. “However, robust improvements are needed in order to achieve a solid framework, stable in the long term.”

The Safe Harbour agreement was ruled invalid late last year, because it could not guarantee privacy for the data of European citizens.

Among the main recommendations Buttarelli gives, are integrating all main data protection principles, limiting derogations, improving redress and oversight mechanisms, as well as provisions on transfers for commercial purposes.

Among tech giants agreeing with Buttarelli is Microsoft, who’s also said that it would love to see the Privacy Shield implemented, and then improved.

"We continue to believe today that additional steps will be needed to build on the Privacy Shield after it is adopted, ranging from additional domestic legislation to modernisation of mutual legal assistance treaties and new bilateral and ultimately multilateral agreements," Microsoft said.

"But we believe that the Privacy Shield as negotiated provides a strong foundation on which to build."

Image source: Shutterstock/Artem Samokhvalov