Privacy advocates criticize the EU-US data-sharing agreement

An agreement between the European Commission and the United States has been announced, and it will make it easier for individuals to legally transmit their personal data over the Atlantic Ocean.

Proponents of data privacy have pledged to challenge the accord in legal proceedings. The accord, which overcame reservations surrounding access to European data by US intelligence services, was hailed as a success by both President Joe Biden and officials from the EU.

The agreement ensures that Google, Meta, and other large technology companies will be able to maintain their data-sharing relationships with the United States. Concerns over individuals' right to privacy led European judges to reject both of the previous attempts to establish a legal framework for the exchange of data between the EU and the US.

The agreement that was signed on Monday aims to relieve European concerns surrounding the sharing of personal information with intelligence services in the United States of America. While Americans have legal protection against electronic eavesdropping conducted by US intelligence services, foreigners do not have the same protection.

The agreement between the EU and the US gives Europeans the right to complain if they believe that American intelligence agencies have obtained personal data. In order to make decisions about the claims, a new court called the Data Protection Review Court will be established.

The EU-US Data Privacy Framework, which takes effect on Tuesday, guarantees that only "necessary and proportionate" data will be collected. According to Didier Reynders, the Commissioner for Justice of the European Union, the "robust" deal means that "personal data can now flow freely and safely" from Europe to the United States.

On the other hand, the non-profit organization known as NOYB (None of Your Business), which is being led by the Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, has promised to contest the judgment. In a statement that he released, Mr. Schrems noted, "Simply proclaiming that something is 'new,' 'robust,' or 'effective' is insufficient before the [European] Court of Justice."To make this work, we would require revisions to the law regarding spying in the United States, which we do not have.

Mr. Schrems previously argued that Facebook's data storage violated his European rights to privacy, and the highest court in the European Union concurred with him. Facebook was forced to remove the challenged material from its servers. President Biden prepared the way for the final agreement by issuing an executive order in October 2022 requiring US intelligence officials to add more protections for data collection while maintaining a balance with national security concerns.

Privacy regulations in the European Union are held to a higher standard than those in the United States. In May, the European Union imposed a fine of $1.3 billion (£1 billion) on Meta, the company that owns Facebook, and ordered the company to cease transmitting data on European users to the United States. In addition, the EU demanded that Meta delete all of its customers' data in Europe.

Meta has stated that if a legal framework is not established for data transfers, the company will be compelled to cease offering its goods and services in the European Union.