"From what limited information we have, there appear to have been a few new protections for the privacy of Europeans, at least in comparison to the very sparse protections of the previous Safe Harbor framework. But the biggest flaw is that the US government is unable to offer firm assurances about its surveillance activities," Senior Global Policy Analyst Jeremy Malcolm said.
The deal also requires Washington to make a written commitment not to conduct indiscriminate mass surveillance of the personal data transferred from the European Union.
"The letters that the US is offering from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in this regard are a far cry from actual law reform that would officially curtail mass surveillance of populations," Malcolm added.
The new EU-US data transfer deal, dubbed Privacy Shield, is likely to postpone the need for a US law providing "meaningful" information protection rights, the Electronic Frontier Foundation told Sputnik.
On Tuesday, the European Commission said that Brussels and Washington had agreed on a new data transfer deal regulating information flows across the Atlantic to substitute the 2000 EU-US Safe Harbor agreement, which the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) invalidated in October 2015 because it was deemed to provide inadequate personal data protection.
"This arrangement has done nothing but postpone the need for real US law reform to provide meaningful data protection rights to users from the US and Europe alike," Senior Global Policy Analyst Jeremy Malcolm said.
According to Malcolm, the deal’s main weakness is that the "new regime remains vulnerable to legal challenge."
Concerns over privacy arose in Europe in the wake of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s mid-2013 revelations of widespread US global surveillance. Documents leaked by Snowden showed that the NSA had worked closely with such companies as Verizon, Google, Facebook and Apple, in addition to Microsoft and other giant telecom and tech firms, to spy on individuals and governments.