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Executive order on transatlantic data transfers expected to be published by U.S. president

Executive order on transatlantic data transfers expected to be published by U.S. president

A shortly anticipated executive order on transatlantic data transfers from the US president is expected to impact EU-U.S. data transfers.


The United States is expected to publish its long-awaited executive order on transatlantic data transfers very soon, according to a report from Politico. A United States official, who was not authorized to discuss the details of the pending executive order, said a draft has been finalized, and is expected to be published as early as the week of October 3, 2022. The executive order, once made public, will begin a ratification process by the European Commission. This part of the process is likely to take up to six months. Therefore a new transatlantic data agreement is predicted to be ready right around March 2023. A U.S. official expressed that the new order is designed to address European concerns over U.S. surveillance practices. 


The Executive order is expected to provide legal protections to citizens of both the EU and the U.S.  


It is expected that the U.S. White House declaration will be working in conjunction with the new U.S. Department of Justice regulations which governs the oversight of American national security agencies, according to Peter Swire, a former U.S. presidential official, whose work contributed to the legal basis for the framework of the new Privacy Shield. People with involvement in the talks described a series of new legal protections to be granted to both European and American citizens regarding the terms under which U.S. national security agencies can access and use their data. The result is expected to outline what is considered “necessary and proportionate” as far as surveillance activities for U.S. agencies.  There may be a significant change in how people’s data can be used for national security purposes. The former U.S. presidential official, Peter Swire said he expected an independent court to be created for addressing U.S. national security agencies’ access to European data.


Details of a new Privacy Shield would finally be possible after over two years of negotiations. 


Since 2020, negotiations to repair the EU-U.S. data pact have been underway ever since EU judges invalidated the existing Privacy Shield as a result of concerns that the agreement did not sufficiently protect citizens of the EU, from excessive surveillance by U.S. agencies. There were developments in the works in March 2022, involving an agreement in principle between Brussels and the United States which resulted in an updated so-called Privacy Shield. This argument would’ve allowed the transfer of various types of data across the Atlantic, however progress on the details of how a deal of this nature would work in practice was stalled until now. Due to ongoing concerns from individuals within the European Commission, that there might likely be immediate legal challenges faced with any new deal with the U.S, this process was significantly stalled until now.

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