News: The US has to assure that it won’t mass monitor EU citizens.
The European Union and US have reached an agreement on the Safe Harbour regulations.
A deadline for the data deal had been set for the end of January, which was missed, but it now seems that a deal has been struck.
Under the deal it will be necessary for a top US official to send a signed letter pledging that the US will avoid "indiscriminate mass surveillance" of EU citizens, and US businesses that sign up to the regulations will face regular checks from the US’s Department of Commerce.
This will be to ensure that companies are following the rules of the deal and assuring that companies based in the US apply data protection standards that are equal to those offered in the EU.
A draft agreement will be drawn up in the next few weeks which will formalise commitments that have been made.
European Commission’s vice president Andrus Ansip said that one of the assurances is: "The US has clarified that they do not carry out indiscriminate mass surveillance of European citizens."
Ansip also said that the US had agreed to create the role of a special ombudsman, the role will follow up on complaints from EU citizens once they have been referred by data protection authorities in member states.
Further work will be undertaken that will see the EU undergo an annual joint review with the US regulator Federal Trade Commission, under this there will be discussions about national security exemptions.
Antony Walker, deputy CEO of techUK said: "Today’s announcement of a new deal for EU -US data transfers is extremely important. The European Commission and US Administration must now show total commitment to implementing this agreement (the EU-US Privacy Shield) and getting trans-Atlantic data flows back onto a secure and stable legal footing. Businesses large and small across Europe need reliable and affordable legal mechanisms to enable the data transfers that underpin their operations and ability to serve customers.
"The fact that EU and US negotiators have worked day and night for several months to secure this agreement reflects how important transatlantic data flows are to the global digital economy. Data Protection Authorities across Europe must play a constructive role in supporting this new agreement. It is essential that they allow time for this agreement to work and refrain from further regulatory action on other transfer mechanisms."