Privacy Shield agreement

The European Union has warned the United States that it still has three months to comply with the Privacy Shield Agreement. The agreement that came into force in July 2016 regulates the transfer and storage of consumer data between Europe and the USA.

Privacy Shield Agreement

The Privacy Shield agreement was designed by the US Department of Commerce, the European Commission and the Swiss government to allow companies on both sides of the Atlantic to exchange data of European citizens. The companies that have signed up to the Privacy Shield register declare that they take adequate measures to protect the personal data.

The European Parliament believes that the US should better supervise the companies that are on the Privacy Shield list. It wants companies guilty of misusing EU citizens' personal data to be removed from the list. Think, for example, of the recent Facebook scandal, in which Cambridge Analytica collected data from 2.7 million European citizens. If this does not happen, the EP wishes to suspend the Privacy Shield agreement with effect from 1 September. 

Another issue is that the US Department of Economy should appoint an ombudsman to deal with complaints from European citizens. But they have not yet done so.

The Privacy Shield is reviewed annually by the European Union.  In October 2018, the European Commission will once again evaluate compliance with the Privacy Card Agreement. They may decide to terminate the agreement unilaterally if the United States fails to honour its commitment to adequately protect the rights of EU citizens in the US. 


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