The basis for an EU-US data protection agreement
The EC has adopted a draft mandate to negotiate a personal data protection agreement between the EU and the USA when cooperating to fight terrorism or crime. There’s a long way to go. The agreement has to be negotiated with the Americans. And then it has to be approved by the European Parliament; but if approved it will be a vast improvement on what we had. It will enhance the right of EU citizens to access, rectify or delete data, where appropriate, and EU citizens will receive a right to seek judicial redress in the US if their data is unlawfully processed.
Fundamental rights must be protected and respected at all times. I want an EU-US agreement that protects personal data rights while fighting crime and terrorism. I want to achieve an ambitious agreement, and I will associate the European Parliament very closely to the negotiations. I urge the Council to approve the mandate as soon as possible so we can swiftly proceed with negotiations on this and other important agreements between the EU and the US.
Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship
A solid agreement on personal data protection would benefit both sides of the Atlantic. By providing a high level of protection of personal data, it would give everyone – citizens, law enforcement authorities and other stakeholders – confidence that human rights are fully respected in the transatlantic fight against organised crime and terrorism.
Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs
Under the Commission’s proposal:
- The transfer or processing of personal data by EU or US authorities would only be permitted for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes in the framework of fighting crime and terrorism;
- There would be a right to access one’s personal data and this would be enforceable in courts;
- There would be a right to have one’s personal data corrected or erased if it is found to be inaccurate.
- There would be an individual right of administrative and judicial redress regardless of nationality or place of residence.
The agreement would not provide the legal basis for any specific transfers of personal data between the EU and the US. A specific legal basis for such data transfers would always be required, such as a data transfer agreement or a national law in an EU Member State. The new EU-US data protection agreement would then apply to these data transfers.