President Joe Biden issued an executive order to address EU-US data privacy regulation concerns.
Data privacy has become a major concern and impediment to EU-US commerce. Because US intelligence agencies have a well-deserved reputation for conducting mass data collection on average citizens, the EU has been cracking down on companies sharing EU citizen data with US companies.
President Biden’s Executive Order on Enhancing Safeguards for United States Signals Intelligence Activities (E.O.) is designed “to implement U.S. commitments under the European Union-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (EU-U.S. DPF).” At stake is the $7.1 trillion EU-US economic relationship.
The executive order adds additional safeguards regarding the circumstances data may be collected, mandates how the data must be handled, and requires US intelligence agencies to update their policies and procedures to be in harmony with the agreement. The order also provides a framework for individuals to seek redress if their data was collected in violation of US law or the agreed-upon safeguards.
The order makes clear the hope that these measures will pave the way to restore normal operations between EU and US commerce:
U.S. and EU companies large and small across all sectors of the economy rely upon cross-border data flows to participate in the digital economy and expand economic opportunities. The EU-U.S. DPF represents the culmination of a joint effort by the United States and the European Commission to restore trust and stability to transatlantic data flows and reflects the strength of the enduring EU-U.S. relationship based on our shared values.
These steps will provide the European Commission with a basis to adopt a new adequacy determination, which will restore an important, accessible, and affordable data transfer mechanism under EU law. It will also provide greater legal certainty for companies using Standard Contractual Clauses and Binding Corporate Rules to transfer EU personal data to the United States.