US needs to appoint permanent Privacy Shield Ombudsperson says European Commission

December 19, 2018

The European Commission has published its 2nd Annual Report into the operation of the EU-US Privacy Shield.

The report is broadly supportive of efforts to make the arrangement work but the authors make a point that many of the ten concerns highlighted in the 1st report have only been addressed relatively recently and so need to be monitored closely over the next few months. 

Most pressing is the absence of a permanent Privacy Shield Ombudsperson which the Commission would like to see in place by February 2019. The Ombudsperson is “an important mechanism that ensures complaints concerning access to personal data by U.S. authorities are addressed”. If that does not happen by the 28th February, the Commission will consider taking appropriate measures available under the GDPR.

Commenting on the report findings Andrus Ansip, Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said:

“Today’s review shows that the Privacy Shield is generally a success. More than 3,850 companies have been certified, including companies like Google, Microsoft and IBM – along with many SMEs. This provides an operational ground to continuously improve and strengthen the way the Privacy Shield works. We now expect our American partners to nominate the Ombudsperson on a permanent basis, so we can make sure that our EU-US relations in data protection are fully trustworthy.”

The full report is available on the website.