The EU/US Privacy Shield

The EU/US Privacy Shield is open for sign-ups from today. Basically, this is a voluntary agreement to which US companies can sign up and which dictates certain rights and restrictions on what a US company can do with an EU citizen’s personal data. It’s the replacement for the old Safe Harbour provisions. Privacy commentators tend to think that it doesn’t go far enough and should provide more protection than it actually does.

Once the UK leaves the EU, the Privacy Shield will no longer apply to the data of UK citizens, as far as I’m aware. In the thread following our Brexit discussion, there was frequent suggestion that a good reason to leave the EU was that it’s not always good to be bound by decisions that may not benefit the UK just because the EU have decided for us. Quoting a few people from that thread (and I have tried to not take comments out of context, but if you feel I have, I apologise): @paddy referred to “the freedom now available [to the UK] to pursue opportunities outside of a sclerotic European economy”, @blueish4 suggested that it was bad that “we don’t control the entirety of our laws and the highest courts are not in the country, but EU associated and we have such a dissenting voice inside the EU that the project is barely politically beneficial”, @breezer mentioned “sovereignty and some EU laws that have done us harm in the past”, and @gerv pointed out that “the EU has some good ideas for laws; but the entire point of sovereignty is that we could adopt their good ideas and not adopt their bad ones”.

Separately, @Dave wondered

So this seems like a useful test case, I think. The EU have introduced a ruling, the Privacy Shield, with which I think most of the Bad Voltage community would agree; those that don’t agree will mostly feel (as I do) that it doesn’t go far enough, not that it’s actually wrong. The UK will no longer benefit from that rule after Brexit. So here’s the chance, right? One of these things might be the case, for each person reading, so let’s have a bit of a poll.

  • The UK is free from having the EU impose the Privacy Shield, but that’s OK because the Privacy Shield isn’t very good and the UK will introduce better legislation which does more to protect UK citizens
  • The Privacy Shield is a bad idea (not just that it could be better), and the EU should not have done it or anything like it
  • The Privacy Shield is a good idea (although it could be better), and UK citizens would be better off to have it, but now they will be worse off because they’ll lose its protection and the UK government will not introduce anything similar

0 voters

I’d be interested in your thoughts.

Very interesting information, I had no idea this legislation was going on in the UK. With the amount of personal data going between countries, I wonder how far the new government will go. Given the feedback that the new UK leaders are very keen on monitoring privacy, I am skeptical the UK would come up with something better.

Count me as one of those that think Privacy Shield is a good step in the right direction, yet not enough. :slight_smile:

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With May in charge, I’d be VERY surprised if this law is kept.

If this law is kept I’ll be fexpleive deleted amazed. My trust of the UK government with private data is less than zero.

The impression I get from the media coverage here in Belgium is that the UK generally has a very liberal focus that looks better out for its companies (and rich) than for its citizens. In that type of climate, I’d be very surprised if it’s replaced by something better.

Nevertheless, you can’t deny that after the brexit, you will have created the opportunity to do so.

It’s not legislation. It’s an agreement between the EU and the US to try and ensure EU data protection legislation is applied to US data hosting entities.

I don’t trust our Government (especially one led by Snoopers-Charter creator Teresa May) to create any privacy protections at all. At least the EU tries, even if the ‘privacy shield’ will also be ruled as not-legal because US companies cannot say that the NSA is not rifling through their folders.

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