U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker joined European Union Commissioner Věra Jourová on July 12th to announce the adoption of the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework. The Framework is a milestone achievement that will provide strong data privacy and facilitate more trade and job creating investments in both the U.S. and Europe.
The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework was designed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and European Commission to provide companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply with EU data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the European Union to the United States in support of transatlantic commerce.
The Privacy Shield Framework provides a set of robust and enforceable protections for the personal data of EU individuals. The Framework provides transparency regarding how participating companies use personal data, strong U.S. government oversight, and increased cooperation with EU data protection authorities (DPAs).
The European Commission deemed the Privacy Shield Framework adequate to enable data transfers under EU law. The U.S. Department of Commerce will allow companies time to review the Framework and update their compliance programs and then, on August 1, will begin accepting certifications.
To join the Privacy Shield Framework, a U.S.-based company will be required to self-certify to the Department of Commerce and publicly commit to comply with the Framework’s requirements.
While joining the Privacy Shield Framework will be voluntary, once an eligible company makes the public commitment to comply with the Framework’s requirements, the commitment will become enforceable under U.S. law. All companies interested in joining the Privacy Shield Framework should review its requirements in their entirety.
“With the approval of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield,” Secretary Pritzker noted, “we send an important message to the world: The sharing of ideas and information across borders is not only good for our businesses but also for our communities and our people. For businesses, the free flow of data makes it possible for a startup in Silicon Valley to hire programmers in the Czech Republic, or a manufacturer in Germany to collaborate with a research lab in Tennessee. For consumers, the free flow of data means that you can take advantage of the latest, most innovative digital products and services, no matter where they originate.”