Brussels announced today that it has adopted a new legal framework allowing the transfer of EU personal data to the US, crucial to the digital economy, following European court rulings that invalidated previous mechanisms.

“The new EU-US legal framework on personal data protection will guarantee the security of data flows for Europeans and provide legal certainty for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a announcement.

And US President Joe Biden welcomed a decision that “reflects the shared commitment” of the two partners “to strong protection of personal data”.

This mechanism is essential for the large American actors of the digital economy, which until now were subject to legal uncertainty after the annulment by the European justice of the previous framework texts.

The two mechanisms previously in place to allow businesses to transfer this data of Europeans to the US were scrapped due to fears of surveillance by US intelligence agencies, the latter, “Privacy Shield”, was approved in 2020.

These appeals before the Court of Justice of the EU were brought by the Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems. Today he announced that he will appeal again legally, considering that the new text did not bring any improvement in the matter of protecting the personal data of Europeans.

“We already have options in the drawers for a new appeal, although we are tired of this game of legal ping pong. We expect the case to be heard again in the Court early next year,” he said, according to a press release.

Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden had reached an agreement in principle in March 2022 on a new legal mechanism, which must respond to the concerns expressed by the judiciary.

The new legal framework, which was adopted in implementation of this agreement, provides additional safeguards so that the access of US intelligence services, in the name of national security, to data collected in Europe and transferred or hosted across the Atlantic, is limited to what is “necessary” and “proportionate”.

It also gives European citizens recourse if they believe their personal data has been unlawfully collected by US intelligence agencies, allowing them to secure, if necessary, the deletion or correction of that data.

“The United States has made unprecedented commitments to implement the new framework,” von der Leyen said.

Digital companies welcomed this announcement. This is “good news for the thousands of businesses, large and small, that move data across the Atlantic every day. Data flows form the basis of the EU’s services exports to the United States, amounting to a trillion euro annually, and this decision will give companies more confidence to carry out their activities and contribute to the growth of our economies”, commented Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, director general of DigitalEurope, the industry lobby.