Privacy Shield

Digital Rights Ireland takes up fight against Privacy Shield

(Image: EC)

27 October 2016

Privacy Shield, the legal agreement allowing businesses to export Europeans’ personal information to the US, is under fire from Digital Rights Ireland.The group has challenged the adoption of the decision in the EU’s second-highest court, according to Reuters.Privacy Shield entered effect in July, replacing the Safe Harbour framework, which had itself fallen victim to a legal challenge in October 2015. The new agreement supports transatlantic commerce worth $260 billion, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has said, and has consequences for many companies offering cloud services to consumers.

While Safe Harbour’s demise was an unexpected legal consequence of a complaint to the Irish privacy regulator about Facebook’s handling of one user’s personal information, the challenge to Privacy Shield is more explicit: a direct attempt to overturn the decision implementing it.

Digital Rights Ireland filed an action on 16 September, seeking annulment of a European Commission decision in the area of freedom, security and justice, according to electronic records of the Court of Justice of the EU.

Further details of the action will not be made public until they are published in the EU’s Official Journal, a move that is expected in the next few days.

Digital Rights Ireland declined to comment on its action. “Unfortunately we aren’t in a position to offer any statement at all on this at this stage,” a spokesman said.

The organisation has a history of challenging EU authorities on privacy matters, though, helping overturn the Commission’s Data Retention Directive in 2014, and contributing to the case that ended Safe Harbour.

European Commission officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

IDG News Service

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