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The Privacy Advisor | FTC, DoC answer Privacy Shield questions Related reading: A view from Brussels: Germany seeks extension for CJEU judge


The U.S. Department of Commerce and FTC Commissioner Julie Brill provided new details about the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield late Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. The DoC, in an interactive Q&A, took to Twitter to answer questions on its role in the potential agreement, while Brill discussed the FTC’s role in a webcast interview with Information Technology and Innovation Foundation President Robert Atkinson.

Specifically, Brill said the FTC won’t change the way it enforces privacy cases, but will improve its “cooperation mechanism” with the collection of EU data protection authorities – known as the Article 29 Working Party (WP29). “We will take referrals from the DPAs,” she said, “and give them a high priority.”

Brill also called on the U.S. Congress to quickly pass the Judicial Redress Act – a bill that would amend the Privacy Act of 1974 to give non-U.S. citizens the right of redress in U.S. courts. “The Judicial Redress Act is an important element – not just for the Umbrella agreement – but for the Privacy Shield as well,” Brill said.

She stressed that the Privacy Shield has more robust principles within it than the old Safe Harbor arrangement and that companies need to think hard about their participation. “Companies will have to examine these more robust principles that are going to be in place, and make sure they can abide by them.” Brill added, “I want to make sure companies examine these principles carefully.”

In particular, there will be “more robust protections in place with respect to controllers that have data on EU citizens and transfer that data to another controller or processor,” Brill explained. “Onward transfers will be more strongly protected” under the new arrangement, so companies need to be aware of that.

On Wednesday afternoon, the DoC, with the help of Special Assistant to the President of the U.S. on Technology Policy David Edelman, answered questions from the public on Privacy Shield, noting that it is working with the European Commission to get the needed documentation out quickly.


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