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Irresponsible calls to end the EU – US Privacy Shield

23 October 2018

Irresponsible calls to end the EU – US Privacy Shield

This week the European Parliament will vote on a resolution from the Civil Liberties Committee on a resolution that calls on the European Commission to suspend the EU – US Privacy Shield. Suspending the agreement would leave people and businesses with less rights and in a legal vacuum when it comes to data protection. We must do all we can to ensure the digital rights laws we have are fully implemented and do their job properly.

This week the European Parliament will vote on a resolution from the Civil Liberties Committee on a resolution that calls on the European Commission to suspend the EU – US Privacy Shield.

The Privacy Shield has been in place since 2016 and protects EU citizens’ data when it is transferred to the US for commercial purposes. It was introduced after the European Court of Justice ruled the EU-US Safe Harbour regime invalid in 2015. This regime had previously formed the legal basis to allow transfers of data, for commercial purposes, from the EU to the United States of America.

ECR MEP Daniel Dalton has been following the draft text for the group that was specifically intended to focus on issues arising out of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. He supports the ban on political profiling that was introduced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and believes it should be passionately protected.

The way forward to deal with issues arising from data misuse in the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica case must be to do all we can to ensure that the digital rights laws we have are fully implemented and do their job properly, rather than make knee-jerk calls to re-write all our legislation in this area.

Calls for the suspension of the EU-US Privacy Shield would have the perverse effect of leaving people and businesses with less rights and in a legal vacuum, despite Parliament’s resolution being intended to discuss protecting rather diminishing rights. We are disappointed that some in this parliament see this resolution as an opportunity to score political points and damage our cooperation with the U.S when the positive way forward would be to continue dialogue and ensure the agreement is fully implemented. Ultimatums from the European side may sound good to some politicians and their supporters but in practice would be a disaster for people and businesses.

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