EU and US confirm new transatlantic data flow agreement on the way

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The European Commission and the United States announced a new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework over the weekend, signalling clarification may be on the way regarding what data flows are allowed after a European court struck down the EU-US Privacy Shield one and a half years ago.

The Privacy Shield agreement had set the terms for transatlantic transfers of personal data. The agreement was struck down, however, after the European Court of Justice found US laws did not offer enough data protection safeguards to meet European standards, leading to legal uncertainty regarding what data flows are allowed.

The legal uncertainty led to European regulators, in recent months, issuing orders against flows of personal data that passed through products such as Google Analytics.

Meta, meanwhile, “threatened” to pull its services out of Europe if governments could not come to an agreement on a new EU-US transatlantic data transfer framework. The company eventually backpedalled from its comments, but it remained staunch in calling for a new framework to be established.

According to a White House fact sheet, the new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework will see the US government implement reforms to better protect the personal data of EU citizens, such as allowing these citizens to seek redress at a newly-created, independent Data Protection Review Court that will have “full authority” to adjudicate claims and direct remedial measures as needed.

The US government will also ensure signals intelligence collection may only be undertaken

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