Today, the European Parliament adopted its resolution about the proposed EU-US Privacy Shield, adding its voice to the opinion of the Working Party 29 from last April and preceding the vote of national representatives in the Article 31 Committee next month. Following the 2013 Snowden revelation, Viviane Reding, then Vice-President of the Commission, launched the reform of Safe Harbour to ensure that data flows across the Atlantic in full compliance with data privacy. Two years and a half later, substantial progress has been made. Not enough for Viviane Reding, now Member of the European Parliament, who still considers the draft decision by the Commission incomplete:
"I welcome the numerous and wide-reaching improvements in terms of transparency, oversight and monitoring of the companies' practices. Nevertheless, I regret that few guarantees have been obtained concerning the activities of the US intelligence services. The problem is, has always been, and remains the use of national security as a blanket exemption.
Together with our American counterparts, further work is needed to turn written assurances into legal obligations, and words into the reality of our citizens. The final decision by the Commission needs to be rock-solid, if we want to provide SMEs with the legal certainty they deserve.
Above all, the transatlantic partnership should tackle global challenges, such as trade, security and the digital revolution. More than ever, Europe and America must build a stable bridge across the Atlantic with a solid pillar for data privacy.
Now that the new general data protection regulation has created a gold-standard in Europe, let’s turn it into a worldwide reality.”
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 215 Members from 27 Member States