Only moments ago, EU Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová reported to the European Parliament that "talks are ongoing" in relation to agreeing a replacement for the Safe Harbor framework.
Negotiating parties had hoped to strike a deal ahead of meetings between the EU data protection authorities on the topic of EU-US data transfers which shall take place in Brussels on 2nd / 3rd February. Other headline points from Commissioner Jourová's update to the European Parliament included that the new arrangement needs to be "fundamentally different from the old Safe Harbor" and "able to withstand any new challenges."
According to the Commissioner, discussions are continuing in relation to four key points:
- Limitations and safeguards as to access to data by US public authorities;
- Independent oversight and individual redress;
- The resolution of individual complaints; and
- Binding commitments from the US side.
In terms of next steps, Commissioner Jourová is due to provide a progress update on the EU-US talks to her fellow EU Commissioners tomorrow. Following that, we can expect a pivotal set of discussions between the EU data protection authorities on data transfer mechanisms and for transatlantic negotiations to recommence in earnest.
Amidst this uncertainty, rest assured that the Fieldfisher Privacy, Security and Information law team will keep you posted on any breakthrough in negotiations or other notable developments.