13:30 GMT +324 March 2018
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    EU Member States Approve Commercial Data Collection Deal With US

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    Representatives of the EU member states have approved the agreement on the exchange of commercial data between the European Union and the United States, European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip and Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The agreement known as the EU-US Privacy Shield, which replaces the deal known as the 2000 Safe Harbour, is aimed at providing a framework for commercial data exchange that will ensure a high level of protection for individuals and legal certainty for businesses operating in the European Union and United States.

    "Both consumers and companies can have full confidence in the new arrangement, which reflects the requirements of the European Court of Justice. Today's vote by the Member States is a strong sign of confidence," the two commissioners said in a statement published on the Commission's website.

    On February 2, Brussels and Washington agreed on a framework transfer deal regulating the flow of data across the Atlantic, called Privacy Shield.

    The draft resolution of the EU-US Privacy Shield was presented by the European Commission in late February, while the European Parliament adopted the resolution on May 26.

    "For the first time, the US has given the EU written assurance that the access of public authorities for law enforcement and national security will be subject to clear limitations, safeguards and oversight mechanisms and has ruled out indiscriminate mass surveillance of European citizens' data," the commissioners said.

    The Safe Harbor treaty faced criticism in the European Union in 2013, after whistle-blower Edward Snowden released data showing that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was spying on EU citizens, as well as a number of European leaders, as it  allowed US companies to obtain the personal data of internet users from the European Union.

    In October 2015, the European Court of Justice declared the Safe Harbor treaty invalid as it was considered to provide inadequate personal data protection.


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    Data Collection, Safe Harbor treaty, European Commission, European Union, Vera Jourova, United States
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