The European Commission (EC) has officially adopted the EU-US Privacy Shield framework to protect transatlantic personal data transfers to the US. The agreement, which replaces the defunct Safe Harbor agreement, was announced in Brussels by European Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourova on 12 July 2016.

This means US organisations wishing to import personal data from the EU can apply for certification under the Privacy Shield framework from 1 August 2016, while EU organisations will have no barriers to data transfers to US organisations that have been certified.

However, businesses still lack clarity and assurance on transatlantic personal data transfers; many businesses went through lengthy and expensive programs to re-engineer their data export strategies after the Safe Harbour agreement was declared invalid.

Furthermore, the European Court of Justice (the body that struck-down Safe Harbor) could again rule that the new agreement has too many loopholes to be accepted in its current form.


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