European Parliament Raises Concerns Over Data Privacy Agreement with US

Members of the European Parliament are calling for improvements to the proposed Privacy Shield agreement governing data transfers between the EU and the US. MEPs recently voted 501-119 (with 31 abstentions) in favor of a non-binding resolution urging that deficiencies revolving around privacy and redress issues be remedied.

European Parliament Raises Concerns Over Data Privacy Agreement with USMore specifically, the MEPs feel that the current framework offers US authorities too much access to data transferred, and are also uncomfortable with the agreement’s potential to allow the collection of bulk data in such a manner as would violate the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. They also argue that a proposed US ombudsperson is not currently designed to have sufficient independence and efficacy, and that rules governing redress are too complex and ineffective.

The objections could offer an obstacle to the Privacy Shield negotiations, which produced a tentative framework earlier this year. But they heed concerns previously raised by groups like the International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA), which called for a simple, clear, effective agreement back in February with an eye to the increasingly sensitive data—including biometric information—that is being transmitted digitally in various contexts. The objections also point to an ongoing tension, with US authorities consistently seeking extensive access to, and control over, citizens’ data, to an extent with which many European authorities are clearly uncomfortable.

Source: European Parliament News

June 2, 2016 – by Alex Perala