Privacy Shield in doubt

Privacy Shield – the new US-EU agreement on sharing people's personal information – may be in doubt after the German privacy agency said the pact does not include sufficient protections.

A document was posted on the agency's website noting that it was "not yet in a position to confirm that the current draft adequacy decision does, indeed, ensure a level of protection [in the US] that is essentially equivalent to that in the EU."

The document was removed when it became the focus of news stories.

The German agency is an influential member of the larger Article 29 Working Party, which is made up of all Europe's data protection authorities.

Although the Article 29 Working Party is unable to prevent the agreement from being formally accepted, it does hold significant sway. That influence was most notable when it set a deadline for the new agreement to be met and government representative felt obliged to meet it.

Without the working party's support, Privacy Shield would also likely fail a challenge at the European Court of Justice (ECJ). It was the ECJ that struck down the previous agreement covering data flows between Europe and the United State over mass surveillance of internet traffic by the US government. ®

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