The United States is once again trying to safeguard personal data shared with Europe through an order signed by the country’s president, Joe Biden. This is not the first time he has tried, as he has done so in the past with Safe Harbour and Privacy Shield.

James Sulivan, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce, said the 2020 Schrems II court case “created enormous uncertainty about the ability of companies to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States in a manner consistent with EU law”. Therefore, the country’s companies had to demand “data transfer mechanisms approved by the EU”.

With Privacy Shield 2.0, Biden hopes to mitigate old continent concerns about possible surveillance by US intelligence agencies. The new framework, discussed in March, will allow European users to have recourse to an independent Data Protection Review Tribunal, with members outside the US government. Such a body would “have full authority to adjudicate claims and direct corrective action as necessary”.

In the order signed by Biden, the Government also commits that the protection of civil liberties be investigated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

The current Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, announced last Thursday that this new legal framework “includes a strong commitment to strengthen guarantees of privacy and civil liberties for signal intelligence, which will ensure the privacy of EU personal data”. 

A European consumer group known as BEUC considers Privacy Shield 2.0 insufficient: “There are no substantial improvements to address issues related to the commercial use of personal data”. Now, we have to wait to check that the EU makes a “determination of adequacy” of the measures, to assess that they are sufficient to protect the transfer of information.

Through this firm, the US and the European Union aim to protect secure data transfer and reduce the risk of cyber espionage. It is the third attempt of the American country to put a solution to its great capacity to monitor European data that reach the other side of the Atlantic and is called Privay Shield 2.0.