The US has finally agreed to the terms behind a data sharing pact with EU countries, which aims to protect citizens following governmet spying revalations.
The new agreement, called Privacy Shield, has been finalised this week.
Privacy Shield is a US-EU agreement made necessary when the previous agreement collapsed after the Snowden surveillance revelations.
It reportedly contains concessions from the US, which will create an ombudsman who will provide European citizens with a means of redress if the American intelligence agencies’ surveillance activities lead to a breach of their human rights.
The content of the agreement has now been shared with the EU’s member states, which are required to give their consent. If they do will it will come into effect in July.
The original ‘Safe Harbour’ agreement was used for 15 years to let US firms self-certify that they were carrying out necessary steps to ensure consumer data is not abused.
But a privacy campaigner challenged the process after whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed details about US authorities spying on foreign citizens’ data held in the country.
However, the UK’s decision to quit the EU means that the legislation will not directly affect this country, much in the same way as the General Data Protection Regulations no longer apply.
The UK is likely to have to mirror much of the legislation in its own data-sharing pacts with the US and the EU, which could take a number of years to formulate.