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Privacy Shield (EU-US Privacy Shield)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

EU-US Privacy Shield is a framework for adherence to European Union data protection laws for companies that deal with the private data of E.U. citizens that is transferred to the United States. Privacy Shield replaces Safe Harbor within the U.S.

The legal privacy framework provides assistance with privacy policies for companies in either country handling private data of E.U. citizens. It also offers legal remedies for E.U. citizens’ privacy complaints.

US companies dealing with data from E.U. individuals must apply to the U.S. Department of Commerce for self-certification. Members of the EU-US privacy shield framework are required to state their adherence to the Privacy Shield Principles, making the commitment enforceable under law.

The members submitting to the framework must provide an independent system for complaint and dispute resolution and present links to Data Protection Authorities (DPA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce and include these complaint processes in their online privacy statements. The Privacy Shield framework includes mandated time frames for responses to individual and E.U. Data Protection Authority complaints.

The agreement represents cooperation between E.U. DPA, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As stated by the Director of U.S. National Intelligence, the new framework bulk gathered info from E.U. citizens is only used in specific circumstances. Previously, international Safe Harbor privacy practices covered the trans-Atlantic transfer of private data.

This was last updated in February 2017

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