Cross-discipline groups warn of disruption between EU and U.S. data-transfers should amenable agreements not be met.
WASHINGTON D.C., BRUSSELS, July 30th, 2020 – Today, an international group of seventeen trade associations urged U.S. and European regulators to swiftly begin negotiations on a successor agreement to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, which was recently invalidated by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the so-called “Schrems II” case. Previously, the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield agreement was considered a reliable and secure mechanism, in use by over 5,300 businesses of all sizes and sectors to transfer data from the EU to the U.S. In a letter led by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and sent to European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and European Data Protection Board Chairwoman Dr. Andrea Jelinek, the associations also welcomed the Court’s upholding of Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) as a valid transfer mechanism and encouraged the U.S. and EU governments to work together to ensure the long-term viability of SCCs as a tool for companies of all sizes and across industries to transfer data across borders, avoiding further uncertainty and economic harm. The letter details:
“Cross-border data flows between the U.S. and Europe are the largest in the world and are fundamental to the largest trading relationship in the world, valued at approximately 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars annually,” the associations wrote. “[…] The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and SCCs are both important mechanisms for international business operations, allowing firms around the world to provide robust assurances on the protection of personal information and enabling the transparent and necessary movement of data seamlessly across borders. The invalidation of Privacy Shield has disrupted these transatlantic data flows, that are central to enabling the U.S. and European economies, and has created legal uncertainty for the more than 5,300 signatories to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield agreement. Such disruption must be avoided in order to minimize any negative economic consequences, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and the economic recovery in both Europe and the U.S.”
“Millions of developers in the EU and U.S. depend on the ability to reach foreign markets through a global internet”, said Bruce Gustafson, CEO of the Alliance, “blocking dataflows between the U.S. and EU will crush small business, kill jobs, and rob people of the apps and services they’ve come to depend on. While we are looking at every possible measure to slow this balkanization, responsibility rests with the over-reach and poor drafting of GDPR, and that’s what ultimately needs to be fixed.”
About The Developers Alliance
The Developers Alliance is the world’s leading advocate for software developers and the companies invested in their success. Alliance members include industry leaders in consumer, enterprise, industrial, and emerging software development, and a global network of more than 70,000 developers.