October 18, 2017

EU: Data privacy deal with U.S. is `adequate’ but needs improvements

A data privacy deal between the European Union and the United States provides “an adequate level of protection’’ but there’s room for improvement, the European Commission said.

The European Commission said this in its first annual review of the deal published on Wednesday.

The EU and the U.S. agreed on the deal known as Privacy Shield in 2016, replacing an earlier framework that the EU’s top court had struck down in 2015 as insufficient after revelations in 2013 of mass spying by U.S. intelligence authorities.

The European Commission said that the current deal, which aimed to prevent the indiscriminate collection of Europeans’ private data via the internet, worked adequately in its first year of operation.

“The U.S. authorities have put in place the necessary structures and procedures to ensure the correct functioning of the Privacy Shield,’’ the commission said.

However, the report noted a number of recommended improvements, including better monitoring by the U.S. of companies’ compliance, more awareness-raising for EU citizens on how to exercise their rights under the deal and closer cooperation of U.S. and EU agencies to develop guidance on enforcement.

The commission also wants U.S. Congress to enshrine the protections for EU citizens in U.S. law when it re-authorises the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).