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E.U. Green Lights Data-Transfer Deal With U.S.

E.U. Green Lights Data-Transfer Deal With U.S.

By RZR News Team
Jul 24, 2023

Fast Facts

  • Earlier in July, it was announced that the European Union (E.U.) reached a deal that would allow data to be transferred to and from the United States.
  • This new law would eliminate the legal uncertainties that major tech companies have been dealing with for years.
  • In this decision, the E.U. determined that the U.S. is “safe” enough to officially become a data-trading partner. 
  • A similar deal was negotiated in 2020 but was ultimately struck down by The Court of Justice of the European Union.
  • The implementation of global data flow would contradict the widely-advocated practices of “data localization,” which require user data to be maintained within a geographical area.

Analysis

The recent E.U.-U.S. data transfer deal has been met with necessary skepticism, with recognition of the importance of both data privacy and government oversight. While facilitating seamless data flows across borders is crucial for businesses and international cooperation, this deal must be approached with a critical eye to safeguard individual rights and prevent government overreach.

Individual privacy is a cornerstone to personal liberties – data privacy, undoubtedly, is a natural stipulation of this autonomy. Data protection is essential to safeguarding personal information from abuse or unauthorized access. Any data transfer deal must prioritize strong safeguards to ensure that individual privacy remains intact, even when data crosses international boundaries.

However, it is equally crucial to strike a balance that enables effective oversight without compromising data privacy. While limited government intervention in society is nearly always beneficial, some level of oversight is necessary to address security concerns and protect national interests.

The concern lies in the potential for this data transfer deal to provide governments with excessive access to personal information under the guise of oversight. Such a scenario could lead to government overreach and breaches of individual rights, raising serious questions about surveillance and the erosion of privacy.

To preserve data privacy while enabling seamless data transfers, there should be clear and robust measures to protect individuals’ information. Effective encryption and anonymization techniques coupled with rigorous transparency and accountability frameworks are essential to prevent abuse and bolster trust in the data transfer process.

The E.U.-U.S. data transfer deal might present notable opportunities in politics and business, but it has a host of challenges that do not appear to be adequately resolved. While data flow facilitation is vital for economic growth and international collaboration, there should be a need to prioritize data privacy and guard against government overreach. Striking the right balance is crucial: strong safeguards and oversight mechanisms are necessary to ensure individual rights are protected while facilitating lawful and secure data transfers. It is through such careful consideration that one can achieve a data transfer deal that respects privacy, promotes innovation and fosters trust between governments and citizens.

Learn more about the conservative viewpoint

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires that transfers of personal data to a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) without appropriate safeguards are only permissible if that country ensures an adequate data protection level. This determination is made adequacy issued by the European Commission.

However, as of July 10th, the European Commission adopted the E.U.-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (DPF). Meaning that companies/businesses with Euro-U.S. relations are going to be able to transfer data without the protracted loopholes of before.

This concept even applies to personal use and affects especially American-based Companies with consumers in Europe such as with the case of social media. The president of Meta explained (the company overseeing Facebook and Instagram) “If a new data-transfer agreement was not reached before mid-October, it would have to shut down services like Facebook and Instagram in Europe”

However, this new DPF is still being determined and unclear if it will be cleared by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). “The European Parliament has opposed the new pact, arguing it still allowed some bulk-collection of personal data and included insufficient protections for Europeans’ privacy.”

Not to mention Max Schrems, the man who opposed the 2020 E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield, has already indicated that he will be challenging the validity of the new DPF in front of the CJEU.

That being said, there are alternative international data transfer tools that remain available – such as the E.U. Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCCs”) and Binding Corporate Rules (“BCRs”). Until then, the DPF can act as a supporting resource for data transfer pending Schrems’ opposition in the CJEU in early 2024.

– Caitlin Everhart

Learn more about the independent viewpoint

It was recently announced that the European Union (E.U.) has reached a deal that would allow data to be transferred to and from the United States. Mainly, this new policy would provide some legal certainty to big-tech companies who, for years, have been working under laws that have been somewhat unclear. 

If this new law is upheld, the E.U. and U.S. can begin a steady relationship of importing and exporting data. This would allow large companies to acquire new information, which could ultimately lead to a substantial amount of economic growth. 

However, almost no deal comes without some consequences, especially when involving data. If not for this agreement, data localization would still be a dominant force in the tech industry. Many users are content with localization because it would ensure that their private data is not distributed to countries that could use it to compromise national security. In other words, not many people in the US would be happy with handing over data to China. 

Nevertheless, because this is a deal with the E.U., it is unlikely that the U.S. is reaching an agreement with any adversarial entity – somebody who is “out to get us.” Therefore, we can rest assured that companies, on both sides, will be handling this business in a matter that does not involve the exploitation of private user data that will be used to disrupt national security. 

Notwithstanding this expectation of safety, the U.S. government should still work to ensure that the E.U. and tech companies are respecting the terms of this agreement and any violation should follow with accountability.

– James Demertzis

Learn more about the liberal viewpoint

I pose to you this question: what in all aspects is more indispensable than anything else in this world? The answer might surprise you, it’s not time (although that is extraordinarily valuable), in this case, the winner is user data.

User data in a sense is the internet equivalent of your passport, it says who you are, where you’re going and where you have been on the web. Big companies often collect data for their own purposes, most likely to track web traffic to their company sites, but some are less ethical at times to sell it. Hence this is why it took The European Union (E.U.) three years to broker a deal to allow data transfer between E.U. and the US. 

It appears the White House and the E.U. have been trying to negotiate this deal for a while and take steps to make sure neither party has too much leeway when it comes to privacy violations. For example, Joe Biden signed an executive order limiting the power of the government to look into European users’ data and the same for Americans with the E.U. 

In today’s world, the world in many ways lives inside machines, on the web, on social media and on other technological mediums. However, an individual’s right to privacy has not and deserves to be protected at all costs. 

Therefore, this mutual agreement between the US and Europe is a step in the right direction to guaranteeing individuals’ personal liberties are being protected as the world moves into new and uncharted territory.

Learn more about the libertarian viewpoint