After days of negotiation, the US and European Union (EU) have reached an agreement, known as the “Privacy Shield,” to better protect and continue to allow the transfer of personal data between the US and EU countries. This new agreement also grants Europeans the ability to seek legal action if they feel their personal data is being misused in the US.
Previously, the US and EU operated under the “Safe Harbor” agreement, which was deemed insufficient after Max Schrems, an Austrian student, filed a complaint against Facebook through the Irish data protection agency. According to Schrems, the Snowden leaks brought to light that Facebook was not properly protecting personal user data. The Safe Harbor agreement was terminated after judges confirmed the validity of Schrems’ complaint.
For large companies, like Facebook and Google, that rely on the transfer of personal data between the US and EU, the new Privacy Shield is a welcomed agreement. According to Dyann Heward-Mills, the head of data protection at Baker & McKenzie, “The new framework will require stronger compliance and data protection measures which will give individuals enhanced guarantees and assurances around the safety and protection of their data.”
The Privacy Shield is still awaiting input and proposals from national data protection authorities in Europe. Phil Lee, partner at Fieldfisher law firm, predicts this new agreement should anticipate pushback from civil liberties groups.
This new agreement does raise questions about the world of technology and the future of transatlantic and personal data sharing. With an ever increasing support from the public in philanthropic giving and involvement, how can nonprofits and foundations guarantee that personal data is being properly managed and protected?
Read CNBC’s original article here.