2022International ScreeningPrivacy

Written By Digital Content Editor Thomas Ahearn

On December 13, 2022, the European Commission issued a draft adequacy decision for the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework which will foster trans-Atlantic data transfers between the European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.) by ensuring an adequate level of protection for personal data, the Commission announced.

With the draft, the European Commission has launched the process to adopt an adequacy decision for the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework to address the concerns raised by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in its Schrems II decision of July 2020 that led to the invalidation of the previous EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.

The draft decision follows the signing of an Executive Order by U.S. President Joe Biden in October 2022 that along with the regulations issued by the U.S. Attorney General implemented an agreement in principle announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President Biden in March 2022.

An adequacy decision is one of the tools provided under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to transfer personal data from the EU to third countries which in the assessment of the Commission offer a comparable level of protection of personal data to that of the EU, according to the Commission.

U.S. companies will be able to join the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework by complying with a detailed set of privacy obligations such as the requirement to delete personal data when it is no longer necessary for the purpose for which it was collected and ensuring protection when personal data is shared with third parties.

The Commission submitted the draft decision to the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and will seek approval from representatives of EU Member States. The European Parliament also has a right of scrutiny over adequacy decisions. Once this procedure is completed, the Commission can adopt the final adequacy decision.

Transatlantic data flows are critical to enabling the $7.1 trillion EU-U.S. economic relationship, according to a White House Fact Sheet. The new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework will restore an important legal basis for transatlantic data flows by addressing concerns the CJEU raised in striking down the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.

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