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Data transfers: EU sets tougher rules to non-EU countries

Data transfer protection

Data transfers outside the European Union should be limited, the European Commission said. Thus, companies such as Amazon and Microsoft should guarantee that no illegal data transfer would occur to non-EU authorities. The Commission would publish the Data Act this month.

Rights and obligations for data transfers

According to the proposal, this rule should determine rights and obligations regarding the use of EU data. In fact, it is part of a broader set of laws that should reign in tech giants. Also, this should help member countries meet their digital and environmental goals.

Now, according to the EU representatives, the Commission is worried about data transfers. This comes mainly after Edward Snowden’s revelations about mass U.S. surveillance.

In fact, The European Court of Justice decided against the Privacy Shield, in 2020. This was a transatlantic data transfer deal. The decision came despite the fact that thousend of companies relied on the deal.

A new pact might be possible

The U.S. and the EU tried to come with a new pact, but it hasn’t happen, yet. Still, the American authorities expressed their confidence that there will be a new accord.

So, according to Gina Raimondo, US Commerce Secretary, the Biden administration considers an enhanced Privacy Shield.

Still, at this moment, the Data Act extends the restrictions to non-personal data, too. The act mentions that “safeguards should further enhance trust in the data processing services.” So, providers of data processing services should “take all reasonable measures.” And this is “to prevent access that could potentially conflict with competing obligations to protect such data.”

Also, the act would bring interoperability standards for data. Thus, it would address concerns of barriers to data sharing. Furthermore, it would make it easier to switch between cloud and edge services. This would be possible due to minimum regulatory requirements on providers. The Act could be published on the 23rd of February.

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