Brussels is set to sign off on a crucial new data transfer arrangement between the US and EU in spite of heavy criticism of the deal from data protection agencies and lawmakers.
The new deal, called Privacy Shield, will provide a legal means for businesses to transfer personal data online — whether payslips, pictures or healthcare data — to the US from the EU without falling foul of the bloc’s strict privacy laws.
Privacy Shield marks the last hope for businesses such as Google, Amazon and Facebook to gain clarity on whether transatlantic transfers are viable over the long term after a series of legal challenges dented the ability of companies to carry them out, Financial Times points out.
In a bid to win over sceptical regulators and MEPs, the European Commission secured further assurances from Washington on issues such as the independence of an ombudsman who will oversee complaints about data handled in the US, according to EU officials.
The deal will also include “explicit obligations” for companies based in the US to hold data only for as long as absolutely necessary, they added.