Washington, D.C. partner Peter Blenkinsop was recently quoted in Bloomberg BNA’s Privacy & Security Law Report in an article titled, “EU Lawmakers Voice Skepticism Over Privacy Shield.” The article discussed the European Parliament hearing on March 17, where European lawmakers and privacy regulators expressed skepticism over the February 29 EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Pact draft.
Specifically, lawmakers expressed concern that the safeguards against U.S. intelligence agency collection of EU citizen’s personal data were inadequate, and that a proposed U.S. State department ombudsman has insufficient legal standing and independence.
The EU-U.S. Privacy shield draft serves to be a hopefully viable replacement for the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor agreement, which was invalidated in October 2015. The Article 29 Working Party will complete an assessment of the Privacy Shield and publish their opinion on April 12-13th.
Peter discussed the timeline and its uncertainty stating, “early May seems like the earliest the Privacy Shield will actually be operational. We've been in limbo since October in terms of a new framework and by mid-2018 there might need to be further modifications, which creates uncertainties for companies.”