Data transfer between the USA and the EU: What comes instead of "Privacy Shield"?

Image: © Weissblick - Fotolia.com
Image: © Weissblick – Fotolia.com

The US government and the EU Commission have started talks about a new regulation for data transmission across the Atlantic after the previous “Privacy Shield” had been declared invalid.


American Trade Minister Wilbur Ross and EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders announced on Monday that the prospects for an improved “Privacy Shield” framework that would be compatible with the judgment of the European Court of Justice are being explored. There were initially no details on how new agreements on data protection might look.

In mid-July, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) declared the previous data protection shield to be invalid, as the requirements were not guaranteed with regard to the access options of the US authorities. In addition, legal protection for those affected is insufficient.

The “Privacy Shield” was drawn up in 2016 within a few months after the ECJ overturned the previous “Safe Harbor” regulation for similar reasons. In both cases, complaints from the Austrian lawyer and data protection activist Max Schrems were the trigger.

The most common basis for the transmission of data from the EU to third countries, however, has recently become the so-called standard contractual clauses, which the ECJ declared to be fundamentally legal in July. However, those affected also have the option here to have the legality checked by the responsible data protection authorities in a specific case.


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