18th October 2017

EC: EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: First review shows it works but implementation can be improved

When it launched the Privacy Shield in August 2016, the Commission committed to reviewing the Privacy Shield on an annual basis, to assess if it continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data. Today's report is based on meetings with all relevant U.S. authorities, which took place in Washington mid-September 2017, as well as input from a wide range of stakeholders (including reports from companies and NGOs). Independent data protection authorities from EU Member States also participated in the review.

The report suggests a number of recommendations to ensure the continued successful functioning of the Privacy Shield. 

These include:

  • More proactive and regular monitoring of companies' compliance with their Privacy Shield obligations by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The U.S. Department of Commerce should also conduct regular searches for companies making false claims about their participation in the Privacy Shield.
  • More awareness-raising for EU individuals about how to exercise their rights under the Privacy Shield, notably on how to lodge complaints.
  • Closer cooperation between privacy enforcers i.e. the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Federal Trade Commission, and the EU Data Protection Authorities (DPAs), notably to develop guidance for companies and enforcers.
  • Enshrining the protection for non-Americans offered by Presidential Policy Directive 28 (PPD-28), as part of the ongoing debate in the U.S. on the reauthorisation and reform of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
  • To appoint as soon as possible a permanent Privacy Shield Ombudsperson, as well as ensuring the empty posts are filled on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB).

Next Steps
The report will be sent to the European Parliament, the Council, the Article 29 Working Party of Data Protection Authorities and to the U.S. authorities. The Commission will work with the U.S. authorities on the follow-up of its recommendations in the coming months. The Commission will continue to closely monitor the functioning of Privacy Shield framework, including the U.S. authorities' compliance with their commitments


More details in the European Commission's press release.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic