SIIA Welcomes News that Negotiations for a Refreshed Privacy Shield Have Intensified
And Calls on European Regulators to Give Time and Space for Negotiations to Conclude
For Immediate Release
SIIA Contact: Suzy Wagner
Washington, DC (March 26, 2021). Yesterday, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders announced that the U.S. Government and the European Commission have intensified negotiations to enhance the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. SIIA welcomes this news and urges other European regulators and policymakers to implement a moratorium on enforcement actions and regulatory guidance to give these critical negotiations time to conclude.
In July 2020, the Court of Justice for the European Union released its decision in the Schrems II case, which struck down the Privacy Shield Framework over concerns about U.S. laws authorizing data collection for national security purposes. The results were quick and painful: the lawful mechanism for more than 5,000 companies — many SMEs — was immediately shut off, forcing business operations to quickly shift to other lawful mechanisms for transferring personal data, such as standard contractual clauses. Since then, European regulators have begun restrictively interpreting the Schrems II opinion to require the cessation of many transatlantic data transfers via standard contractual clauses. This threatens the continuity of business operations, consumer access to digital goods and services, and public health initiatives.
SIIA President Jeff Joseph notes: “If restrictive and inflexible interpretations of the Schrems II decision continue unchecked, the result will be a catastrophic disruption of transatlantic data flows to the detriment of European and American businesses and consumers alike. The impact of the ongoing restrictions to data flows is broader than “Big Tech.” Transatlantic data transfers are used every day for routine business purposes, including payroll, other HR functions, access to cloud services, and delivery of digital goods and services to consumers, among others. We need transparent and reasonable data transfer mechanisms that balance the preservation of privacy with the ability to engage in reasonable and necessary business transactions.
“The ongoing negotiations between the U.S. Government and the European Commission are best-suited to address the delicate diplomatic, regulatory, trade, and human rights considerations at play. We welcome the news that the negotiations for an enhanced Privacy Shield Framework have intensified, and we call for a moratorium on regulatory actions and guidance that could disrupt these negotiations by unduly restricting data transfers. As allied democracies that respect data privacy and the rule of law, we are optimistic that the U.S. and EU can and will resolve the concerns identified in the Schrems II case if given a meaningful opportunity to do so.”
SIIA is the only professional organization connecting more than 700 data, financial information, education technology, specialized content and publishing, and health technology companies. Our diverse members manage the global financial markets, develop software that solves today’s challenges through technology, provide critical information that helps inform global businesses large and small, and innovate for better health care and personal wellness outcomes – they drive innovation and growth. For more information, visit siia.net.