Data is the essential raw material for startups to thrive in the global economy. Adequacy agreements between different jurisdictions are essential to startup ecosystems as they facilitate startups’ legal compliance, provide legal certainty and enable cross-border data transfers. The EU and the US can boost the economy on both sides of the Atlantic, providing new opportunities for businesses, job creation and growth with a new Privacy Shield. Here’s where we are in the process.
The U.S. Executive Order marked the beginning of a revamped agreement between the EU and the U.S. for transatlantic data flows as it resolved the concerns regarding government surveillance that invalidated the former Privacy Shield in 2020. In light of this breakthrough, the European Commission published a draft adequacy decision on a new EU-US Data Privacy Framework in December 2022 that was welcomed by the European Data Protection Board.
With an adequacy decision, personal data can flow from the EU to third countries – in this case to the U.S. -with a parallel level of privacy and personal data protection as guaranteed in the EU legislation. This legal tool provides a clear and simple framework for actors with fewer resources, such as startups, to comply with data protection standards while making use of data to deploy their solutions to the market.
What’s next until the final adoption and implementation of the agreement?
Before the framework is set in motion, the European Commission has to get the green light from a committee composed of representatives from the EU Member States, and afterwards, the European Parliament has the final say over the Framework with its right of scrutiny.
Once the adequacy decision is adopted, European startups will be able to transfer personal data to companies in the United States, without having to put in place additional data protection safeguards.
The invalidation of the Privacy Shield in July 2020 affected 5,300 companies using it, especially startups, who were forced to deploy complex data transfer mechanisms with limited resources.
Policy makers: This shows the importance of adopting the EU-US Data Privacy framework soon so it simplifies the bureaucratic process for small players and enables startups to compete globally while safeguarding the fundamental right to personal data protection.
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