EU lawmakers call for strengthening EU-US Data Privacy Framework

EU lawmakers have called on the European Commission to address deficiencies and strengthen the Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework, expressing dissatisfaction with the proposed agreement and highlighting the need for additional provisions.

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The European Union (EU) lawmakers have called on the European Commission (EC) to continue discussions with the United States to enhance the Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework (data transfer agreement), citing existing deficiencies in the agreement. Although the latest proposal shows significant improvements, lawmakers expressed their dissatisfaction and voted in favour of a non-binding resolution against the proposed data transfer agreement. Key concerns highlighted by Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, President of the European Parliament’s Committee on Liberties, Justice and the Interior, include the need for improved provisions on judicial independence, transparency, access to justice, and remedies.

Previously, on 14 February 2023, the Committee released a draft resolution advising the European Commission to reject the proposed data transfer agreement. Lawmakers are calling on the Commission to continue negotiations and adequately address the identified concerns, emphasising the importance of genuinely safeguarding the data of EU citizens and businesses.

In February, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) provided a non-binding opinion to the European Commission, welcoming certain improvements in the agreement but expressing ongoing concerns and requesting clarifications on various aspects such as data subject rights, onward transfers, and bulk data collection.

It is noteworthy that the approval of the European Parliament is not required for the European Commission to proceed with the approval process. The decision-making process may involve revisions to the draft decision based on feedback from the EDPB and the Parliamentary Committee. Subsequently, the decision will be submitted to the EU member states for approval, with the possibility of being blocked by them. Only after this stage the European Commission will make the final decision. The formal adoption of the decision by the EC is expected to take place no earlier than spring 2023.