EU and US close to finalising new Data Transfer Agreement

The European Commission is set to finalize a new data transfer agreement with the US by mid-July, addressing concerns over the privacy of EU citizens’ data. This agreement is crucial for Meta (formerly Facebook) to avoid suspension of its services in Europe, as they expect it to be implemented before they need to halt data transfers.

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According to a lawyer representing the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) of Ireland, which oversees major tech companies in the EU, the European Commission is on track to finalise a new data transfer agreement with the United States by mid-July 2023.

This agreement aims to establish a secure method for transferring the personal data of the EU citizens to the US, addressing concerns raised by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding US intelligence agencies accessing the private information of European citizens. The lawyer for the DPC mentioned that the Irish regulator understands that the agreement will be presented to the College of Commissioners by mid-July.

This timing is critical in Dublin, where the DPC recently instructed Meta to cease data transfers of the EU users. Meta anticipates the implementation of the new agreement before needing to suspend transfers, thus avoiding the potential suspension of Facebook services in Europe.

The Irish High Court has extended the stay on the DPC’s order until 31 July, awaiting further guidance on Meta’s legal challenge. The European Commission spokesperson confirmed that the framework is being finalised and expected to be operational during the summer.