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Privacy Shield challenged by Irish privacy advocates

An Irish privacy advocacy group has filed a legal challenge to the EU General Court, against Privacy Shield, the media reported on Friday. 

Privacy Shield is an agreement between the European Union and the United States on how consumer digital data can be transported between the two. It replaced the Safe Harbour agreement which was struck down earlier as being damaging to the privacy of EU citizens. 

The Irish group, called Digital Rights Ireland, says the new agreement is inadequate, and is asking for annulment. This was confirmed by General Court's spokesperson, Reuters (opens in new tab)says. 

"We are aware of the application (for annulment)," a spokesman for the European Commission said. "We don't comment on ongoing court cases. As we have said from the beginning, the Commission is convinced that the Privacy Shield will live up to the requirements set out by the European Court of Justice which has been the basis for the negotiations." 

It could take a year, or even more, for the Court to come to a decision. There is a chance the entire case gets rejected, it the court finds the Privacy Shield is not of direct concern to Digital Rights Ireland. 

"The United States stands behind the Privacy Shield Framework and the critical privacy protections it affords individuals in furtherance of supporting robust transatlantic commerce and is ready to explain our safeguards and limitations if necessary," an official at the U.S. Department of Commerce said.

Privacy Shield replaced Safe Harbour, which was deemed damaging to EU citizens, following Edward Snowden's revelations on the extent of surveillance of U.S. Government agencies across the pond.   

Image source: Shutterstock/alexskopje

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.