The Opinion of Article 29 Working Party on the EU-US Privacy Shield: “Nobody knows what will happen now”

von Veronica Mino

In a press conference held yesterday, April 13th at 1.00 PM, Article 29 Working Group presented their opinion on the EU-US Privacy Shield. You can find the press release here.

In a rather impeccable presentation, Isabel Falque-Pierrotin (chairman of Article 29 Working Party) presented and explained the key points and considerations of such opinion.

In accordance with Article 30 of Directive 95/46/EC, the Working Group presented their common opinion on this fundamental matter in two separate documents, an opinion and a document containing the essential guarantees WP29 considers fundamental for the compliance of European Data Protection Law by the proposed EU-US Privacy Shield.

The legal background for WP29 opinion is based on current legislation of data protection, the fundamental right to a private life -as stated on article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights- the right to the protection of personal data -as stated on article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union- and, of course, the Schrems Judgement.

WP29 admitted at the very beginning of the press conference that their posture is a “demanding” one, as long as it has been strictly performed taken into consideration the number of people that could possibly be affected by these data transfers.

WP29’s conclusions can be summarized as follows:
  1. As it currently stands, the EU-US Privacy Shield is rather difficult to understand (even for the WP29!) as it integrates a number of documents and annexes that are not necessarily consistent between them.
  2. Regarding the commercial aspects, WP29 considers that there have been important improvements, for example regarding the definition of the rights at stake, the fact that the question of surveillance is dealt with (although, according to WP29, not enough) and the fact that it would promote transparency ...
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