EDPB satisfied with data exchange agreement in principle

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The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) is satisfied with the agreement in principle that the EU and US reached at the end of March on data exchange between the two continents. The European privacy watchdog calls the agreement “a first positive step in the right direction”. At the same time, the agency tempers the expectations of companies and organizations: it is not yet a legal agreement from which European and American parties can derive rights.

The EDPB writes this in a press release (PDF).

US protection level not equal to EU

It has been almost two years since the European Court of Justice ended the Privacy Shield. For many years this document served as the basis for the transfer of personal data between Europe and the US. Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems disagreed and presented the matter with his foundation Noyb to the Court.

The judge ruled that the US did not offer the same level of protection as in Europe. According to the law, American security and investigation services have access to data stored on American servers. This means that the personal data of European citizens is also accessible to the authorities. Filing an objection to this with an independent regulator or judge is an impossible task for Europeans, the Court ruled. That is why the judge canceled the Privacy Shield.

Since then, European and American companies and organizations have had to work with model contracts. In practice, this was hardly done, if at all, much to the frustration of Schrems. To enforce compliance, he sent 101 complaints to various national regulators in Europe.

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