Data Protection: EU Commission adopts new adequacy decision for safe and trusted EU-US data flows
On July 10, the European Commission adopted its adequacy decision for the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework. The decision concludes that the United States ensures an adequate level of protection – comparable to that of the European Union – for personal data transferred from the EU to US companies under the new framework. On the basis of the new adequacy decision, personal data can flow safely from the EU to US companies participating in the Framework, without having to put in place additional data protection safeguards.
US companies will be able to join the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework by committing to comply with a detailed set of privacy obligations, for instance the requirement to delete personal data when it is no longer necessary for the purpose for which it was collected, and to ensure continuity of protection when personal data is shared with third parties.
EU individuals will benefit from several redress avenues in case their data is wrongly handled by US companies. This includes free of charge independent dispute resolution mechanisms and an arbitration panel.
In addition, the US legal framework provides for a number of safeguards regarding the access to data transferred under the framework by US public authorities, in particular for criminal law enforcement and national security purposes. Access to data is limited to what is necessary and proportionate to protect national security.
EU individuals will have access to an independent and impartial redress mechanism regarding the collection and use of their data by US intelligence agencies, which includes a newly created Data Protection Review Court (DPRC). The Court will independently investigate and resolve complaints, including by adopting binding remedial measures.
The safeguards put in place by the US will also facilitate transatlantic data flows more generally, since they also apply when data is transferred by using other tools, such as standard contractual clauses and binding corporate rules.