EU and US agree new data protection rules

The EU and the US have agreed on new rules for transatlantic data exchange. Because the European Court of Justice deemed that the data wasn't adequately protected by the "Safe Harbour" agreement, the new "Privacy Shield" agreement will now replace it. Has Europe really pushed through its privacy standards?

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Il Sole 24 Ore (IT) /

Good lobby work by US companies

The new agreement is a triumph for which the European Commission mainly has American companies to thank, the liberal business daily Il Sole 24 Ore explains:

“The European principles, based on the protection of individual rights, clashed directly with the American principles, based on freedom of expression and circulation of information. A solution needed to be found. The one that emerged from the negotiations in recent months appears to be the acceptance by the United States of the European position. This is new. It was mainly due to lobbying by American companies worried about losing contact with the giant European market after the revelations by Edward Snowden about the mass surveillance practised by the NSA.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

A letdown for EU citizens

Although the EU is passing the agreement off as a success it achieves nothing for the people of Europe, the centre-left daily Süddeutsche Zeitung complains:

“In fact this is a non-event because the EU Commission has achieved little - certainly no legal protection worthy of the name. As things look now legal protection for EU citizens in the US will remain far behind that of US citizens. And the guarantees for data from Europe that the US is now giving remain no more than vague promises. The Department of Commerce promises that in future it will closely monitor US companies that process data from Europe. And the head of the Central Intelligence Agency promises that the total access to the data won't be quite as total as it was before. ... So the old, sour wine that the European judges have declared undrinkable is simply being served in new bottles.”