The Article 29 Working Party Statement on the adoption of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

von Dr. Veronica Miño

On July 26, 2016, following the adoption of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield decision on July 12, the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) held a press conference[1] with a view to express its opinion regarding the adoption of the Commission’s decision regarding this important matter.

After welcoming the improvements brought by the Privacy Shield, compared to the Safe Harbour decision and commending the Commission and the U.S. Government for taking into account the Working Party’s concerns regarding the draft EU-U.S. Privacy Shield adequacy decision, the WP29 pointed out that a number of its concerns remain in the final version of the Privacy Shield, in particular, regarding the commercial aspects and, especially regarding the most sensitive part of the decision, that is, the access of U.S. authorities to data transferred from the EU.

With regard to the commercial aspects, the WP29 regretted, in particular, the lack of specific rules on automated decisions and of a general right to object and also the lack of clarity regarding the rules applicable to processors. This last concern involves, from our perspective, great importance due to the greater responsibilities imposed on data processors according to the General Data Protection Regulation to enter into force in 2018.

Regarding the access of U.S. authorities to data transferred from the EU, the WP29 commented that it would have expected stricter guarantees regarding the powers of the Ombudsperson mechanism and that there’s a lack of concrete assurances regarding the commitment of the ODNI not to conduct mass and indiscriminate collection of personal data.

Faced with this scenario, the Working Party stated that the first joint annual review will be a “key moment” to prove the robustness and efficiency of the Privacy Shield ...

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