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4/6/17

EU MEPs want Commission to toughen up Privacy Shield under Trump – by Catherine Stupp

The European Parliament wants the European Commission to ‘Trump-proof’ the Privacy Shield data sharing agreement between the EU and the United States after the new US administration threatened to roll back some privacy safeguards.

A slender majority of MEPs approved a resolution today (6 April) asking the Commission to force the Trump administration to guarantee privacy safeguards and give the European Parliament access to documents detailing how the Privacy Shield agreement has been enforced by US authorities during a legal review in September. The resolution passed with 306 votes in favour and 240 against.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova tried to calm MEPs’ fears that the Trump administration could slash a set of privacy rules that former President Obama introduced and which became the legal basis for the data sharing deal.

If the Obama-era rules are repealed, the data sharing deal could be taken down in court like its predecessor, the Safe Harbour agreement, which was ruled illegal in October 2015 because of shoddy privacy rules in the US.

Jourova visited senior Trump administration officials last week in Washington to talk about the agreement, which was sealed in July 2016 after fraught, drawn-out negotiations between the Commission and the the US.

She told MEPs yesterday that American officials promised her “there are no changes foreseen” to the directive, known as presidential policy directive 28, or PPD 28. Trump-appointed CIA director Mike Pompeo called for the privacy directive to be repealed last year, before he took office.

Jourova said she “made absolutely clear to American partners that this is the main pillar” for keeping Privacy Shield in place.

“If we are faced with any developments that could negatively affect the level of protection afforded under the Privacy Shield, the Commission will take responsibility and use all available mechanisms, be it review, suspension, revocation, repeal to promptly react,” she said yesterday evening during the Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg.

Note EU-Digest: This whole Privacy Shield agreement between the EU and the US is not worth the paper it was written on, even since its inception, and specially now, under the Trump administration, which recently abolished all controls on the release of your private information related to your internet search habits, or what you liked or wrote about on social media, or your buying habits. 

The collected info will soon be able to sold by Google, Microsoft and other communications companies at will. 

The question is obviously - when will the EU Commission and EU Parliament understand that European type ethical standards are not part of the US government's "Modus Operandi". 
 
Read more: MEPs want Commission to toughen up Privacy Shield under Trump – EURACTIV.com

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