US officials call for clarity in EU-US data transfers after Schrems II ruling

The U.S. government has released a white paper on privacy safeguards relevant to standard contractual clauses (SCCs) and other EU legal bases for EU-U.S. data transfers after Schrems II. In a statement, two high ranking US officials argued that ‘the need for constructive and good faith engagement between the EU and the United States on cross-border data issues has never been more urgent’, as ‘the operative rules remain decidedly unclear’. They also claimed that ‘Schrems II does not implicate only commercial data transfers in the tech and digital sectors. To the contrary, the decision has potential implications on transatlantic information-sharing in areas like the health sector, including in ongoing medical research and clinical trials regarding treatments and vaccines for COVID-19; in law enforcement and intelligence cooperation, as the EU and U.S. face ever-dangerous threats to public safety and national security; and in EU financial institutions’ participation in U.S. financial markets, as both societies collectively confront unprecedented economic challenges’.