Brussels, BELGIUM — U.S. President Biden and European Commission President von der Leyen announced today “an agreement in principle on a new framework for transatlantic data flows.”
Thousands of large and small businesses have faced legal uncertainty for their routine transfers of commercial data between the EU and U.S. after the EU Court of Justice in mid-2020 invalidated the widely used Privacy Shield legal mechanism. European privacy watchdogs have moreover issued guidance that would restrict the use of alternative data transfer mechanisms.
Beyond these restrictions for personal data, new developments in France and with the proposed Data Act reveal new European restrictions for other types of data, namely industrial and commercially sensitive data.
A recent survey found that compliance with data transfers rules after the Schrems II ruling quickly became the most challenging task for companies. 10% of them chose to localise data, stop transfers, or halt services as a result of the ruling. At the same time, average privacy compliance spending rose to nearly EUR 800,000 since 2020.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has long supported a strengthened framework to enable international data transfers freely and securely, and sustain the €6 trillion transatlantic economy.
The following can be attributed to CCIA Director Alexandre Roure:
“This announcement is good news for all European and international companies relying on transatlantic data transfers for their daily business operations. We trust that a new framework will restore legal certainty for businesses and stronger safeguards for users.”
“While we welcome more certainty for EU-US commercial data flows, we are increasingly concerned with new European restrictions covering “non-personal” data. As our economies go online we need fewer, not more data restrictions, to trade with each other.”