Europe’s Top Court Issues Bombshell EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Ruling

  • The European Court of Justice ruled today that the Privacy Shield data-sharing agreement between the U.S. and many European countries is invalid, causing uncertainty for the more than 5,300 businesses that utilize the framework to transfer data between the U.S. and EU.
  • In its ruling, the Court held that the Privacy Shield agreement—a data privacy arrangement allowing companies to transfer data to the U.S. while adhering to the EU’s distinct data privacy laws—did not sufficiently protect European citizens’ data from U.S. surveillance activities. The Privacy Shield agreement had replaced the previous Safe Harbor agreement, which the Court also ruled invalid in 2015.
  • S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement today that the Department of Commerce is “still studying the decision fully to understand the practical impacts,” but assured that the Department “will remain in close contact with the European Commission and European Data Protection Board on this matter and hope to be able to limit the negative consequences to the $7.1 trillion transatlantic economic relationship.”