MEPs' "grandstanding" risks EU-US data privacy

10-Oct-2018 @ 14:00

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MEPs' "grandstanding" risks EU-US data privacy

A call by MEPs today to suspend the EU-US Privacy Shield threatens to leave businesses and citizens in legal limbo, Conservative Home Affairs spokesman Daniel Dalton warned today.

Mr Dalton accused the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee of "political grandstanding" after MEPs included the call in a resolution on the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica affair to be debated by the European Parliament later this month.

He said: "Supporters of this move claim to be protecting data rights and the privacy of European citizens, but in the real world it would do the opposite. Without an operational Privacy Shield citizens would find themselves in legal limbo, with their rights of redress severely restricted.

"Small and medium sized businesses would face a costly administrative mountain, having to urgently introduce new contracts and corporate rules. When will MEPs understand that their political grandstanding in Brussels comes at a cost for people across the EU who want to engage safely online and run businesses?"

The Privacy Shield was introduced in August 2016 and protects people when their personal data is transferred to the US for commercial purposes. It includes safeguards on US government access as well as protection and redress through dispute resolution mechanisms. A review last year concluded it ensured an adequate level of protection but it has not been fully implemented by the US and the amendment passed today by the committee "regrets that the deadline for the US to be fully compliant ... of 1 September, 2018, has not been met" and "urges...the Commission to suspend the Privacy Shield until the US authorities comply with its terms."

Mr Dalton said: "We should be seeking co-operation, not confrontation, with the US authorities. Simply demanding they comply with EU standards will not work."


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