A project between the EU (European Union) and the United States is about to be finalized which aims to promote the free flow of private data between the United States and Europe. Announced on December 13 with a press release from the European Commission led by Ursula Von Der Leyen, the project has sparked reactions in Europe and raised serious concerns among organizations that defend the private rights of citizens that are far from reassured. In the media in France there are those who denounce the government’s silence on such a delicate and crucial issue for European citizens.
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A decision that risks unleashing a lively controversy in the days to come. Indeed, in the midst of the war in Ukraine marked by record inflation and at a time when several European countries are facing an increase in Covid cases, the European Commission, led by Ursula Von Der Leyen, announced, in a communicated published on December 13, 2022, an agreement for the transfer of personal data from Europeans to the United States.
In the press release published on 14 December, the European Commission says it has launched an adequacy decision on the data protection framework between Europe and the United States which will promote the flow of data and address the concerns raised by the Court of Justice of the Union Union (CJEU) which had already invalidated the famous “Privacy Shield” concerning American surveillance.
“The adequacy decision concludes that the United States ensures an adequate level of protection for private data transferred from the European Union to the United States”, reassures the European Commission. In order not to unleash the strong anger of the Europeans, the Commission is trying to play the card of appeasement.
Thus, the release specifies that for Europeans whose data is transferred to the United States, a decree dated October 07, 2022 and signed by Joe Biden will guarantee limited access to their data by American intelligence services (which may be used), increased surveillance of the intelligence services to ensure they comply with the provisions of the aforementioned decree and the establishment of an independent and impartial complaints mechanism which will be tasked with investigating and providing, where appropriate, legal assistance to (EU) citizens whose private data have been hacked by US authorities.
In the press release, the European Commission informs us that American citizens can now sue the American authorities by kidnapping the American Civil Liberties Protection Officer, who will be responsible for calling US intelligence to order in case of their fault.
It should be noted that the project is under development but could be finalized very soon. Indeed, according to the press release, the adequacy decision has been sent to the European Data Protection Board to issue its opinion on this highly sensitive issue.
And it’s not over. Once its decision has been communicated, the Commission will have to obtain the go-ahead from a committee made up of representatives of the European member states. The European Parliament will also have its say, greatly weakened by the QatarGate scandal. And when all these steps are completed, the European Commission will then be able to adopt the final adequacy decision which will announce the start of data circulation between Europe and the United States.
The project seems ambitious but is far from satisfying the organizations that defend the private data of European citizens. And the NOYB (Non Of Your Business) organization has expressed its concerns in a communicated published on its official website on December 13, 2022.
“Today, the European Commission published a new adequacy decision replacing the ‘Privacy Shield’ decision, which had been invalidated by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) regarding US surveillance. The CJEU has requested (1) that US surveillance be proportionate to meaning of section 52 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFR) and (2) that there is access to a legal recourseas required by 47 CFR,” reacts NOYB.
And to continue: “the updated American law (Executive Order 14086) does not seem to satisfy these two requirements, because it does not change the situation with respect to the previously applicable PPD-28. There is always “massive surveillance” and a “court” that is not a real court. Therefore, any EU “adequacy decision” based on Executive Order 14086 is unlikely to satisfy the CJEU”.
The NOYB NGO refers to the decree signed by Biden. “As highlighted noyb in his previous statement on US Executive Order 14086, the changes to US law seem pretty minimal. Some amendments, such as introducing the principle of proportionality or establishing a court, look promising, but upon closer inspection it becomes clear that the executive order overrates and underrates the protection of Americans’ unprotected persons. It seems obvious that any EU “adequacy decision” based on decree 14086 is unlikely to satisfy the CJEU. This means that the third deal between the US government and the European Commission could fail,” she warns.
The agreement is also reacting in the French press where some denounce France’s silence on such a crucial issue. “The European Commission has recently validated the agreement for the transfer of personal data from Europeans to the United States. An incomprehensible transfer of sovereignty over which France has not sought to have a say”, deplores the review. Popular Front this December 30th
For this review, the adequacy decision is well suited to US interests. “The idea of a ‘European cloud’ desired by Emmanuel Macron is already far away. After several weeks of discussions, the European Commission published its draft on Tuesday 13 December regarding the regime for data transfers between the United States and the European Union – or rather from Europe to the United States, we should rather say, given the asymmetry between the two regions,” explains the review.
And to continue: “Across the Atlantic, this measure makes sense. In the age of the data economy and the development of artificial intelligence, ‘It’s black gold busy tech giants. explain to Marianne MEP Emmanuel Maurel attacked the left group”.