EU ready to intensify talks on a new EU-US Privacy Shield

Talks are ongoing between the European Commission and the US administration at a technical level on how to resolve the thorny issue of transfer of personal data from the European Economic Area to the US, following the invalidation of the EU-US Privacy Shield last year. Both sides are willing to ‘get this right’ and we are ready to intensify talks, said Věra Jourová, Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency.

Speaking at an Euractiv webinar yesterday, Jourová said that while she cannot predict how long this work will take, the modernised EU Standard Contractual Clauses will provide a short-term solution and create legal certainty. For the long term, the EU wants to see a proactive approach from the US and strong cooperation. She said that the two areas with most emphasis are questions around national security and surveillance, and the role and independence of the US Ombudsperson. We need guarantees that our standards are fully recognised, she said.

Christopher Hoff, the lead negotiator at the US Department of Commerce, stressed the need for interoperability, and said that the new US administration is working hard to find a solution quickly to EU-US data transfers. Hoff said that there was a good working relationship with EU’s DG Justice, and that they try to be pragmatic and open minded. “There is a great cooperation between leadership just now,” he said. “The solution needs to be as future proof as possible.”

See EURACTIV - Data Privacy post COVID-19: What has changed and where do we go now?

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