Global tech industry seeks certainty on EU-US cross-border data flows

Today, techUK, ITIC and 15 other 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.

In a letter 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 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.

“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 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.”

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield agreement was a reliable and secure mechanism used by over 5,300 businesses of all sizes and all business sectors to transfer data from the EU to the U.S. The 16 July ruling by the CJEU invalidated this agreement, leaving many businesses scrambling to find an alternative without interrupting essential business operations.

You can find the full letter below.

  • Sabina Ciofu

    Sabina Ciofu

    Head of EU and Trade Policy
    T +32 473 323 280
Joint Industry Letter Schrems II - 30 July (pdf)

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