Europe must show US teeth in terms of privacy

“Privacy Shield must be suspended”. The Committee on Civil Liberties in the European Parliament recently voted in favor of my amendment to this effect. The plenary assembly of Parliament must ratify or reject this next week.

Privacy Shield, the regulation for the transfer of personal data by companies to the US, clearly does not meet the European legal standards for privacy protection. Two years after the Privacy Shield started, the American government still does not meet the minimum requirements of Privacy Shield . All kinds of guarantees that Europeans must be able to trust that their data does not end up in the wrong hands have not been officially introduced. In addition, Trump comes with all kinds of laws and decrees that even further weaken the protection of the Privacy Shield. The US knowingly refuses to comply with the agreements made.
If our personal data transmitted by companies to the US are not secure, the European Commission is obliged to take action under the new European Privacy Act. The European Commission recognizes that there are problems with the implementation of the current regulation, but does not dare to act. Every time she warns the Americans for the last time, but in the end she never dares to continue. Trump knows that. When does the EU do that against the US? Why do we swallow everything the US holds out to us? Would we actually also take it from the Russians and Chinese people if they perform mass surveillance on our personal data?

Privacy Shield is washing nose

The European Commission is therefore fooling Europeans. She acts as if there is sufficient protection, but it is all a wash nose. The Privacy Shield is already being challenged in court. There is a good chance that the European Court will pass a line here, just like the predecessor Safe Harbor. Why should we wait for this? Politicians who want to be credible must themselves ensure that laws, agreements and regulations such as the Privacy Shield are watertight. If the European Commission does not want to listen, Parliament must take action. D66’s initiative to call on the European Commission to temporarily suspend the Privacy Shield found a majority two weeks ago in the Civil Liberties Committee
But we are not there yet. There should be a plenary vote next week, and the majority for the suspension was small. The Christian Democrat and Conservative groups claim that the Privacy Shield offers sufficient protection to us Europeans. They are afraid of the reactions of the Americans, if the Privacy Shield is indeed suspended. Afraid of the consequences for business. In the interest of companies, these parties want to keep Privacy Shield afloat. But how can a faulty arrangement now be in the interests of companies? In reality, this means that companies may soon be exposed to legal claims, because the Privacy Shield offers insufficient protection for the transfer of data. While these same groups have been shouting murder and fire over the data abuse by Facebook and Cambridge Analytica in the past few months, they do not dare to go beyond the regulations that these companies used to conduct their practices. . Who says A, must also say B.
We may be more self-assured in Europe and show our teeth. American companies have access to a market of more than 500 million consumers here. I fully support this access. But with respect for privacy and data protection, fundamental rights enshrined in laws, treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The new privacy law offers Europeans the best protection in the world on paper. But if it is not maintained, Europe will lose its credibility.

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