The two sides have been negotiating since 2011 over the so-called "umbrella agreement" that would protect personal data exchanged between police and judicial authorities in the course of investigations, as well as between companies and law enforcement authorities.
The European Commission, which leads the negotiations on behalf of the EU, has said that it aims to complete those negotiations before the summer.
EU Commissioner Věra Jourová: "I am very pleased that today we have finalised negotiations with the US on high data protection standards for transatlantic law enforcement cooperation.
Robust cooperation between the EU and the US to fight crime and terrorism is crucial to keep Europeans safe. But all exchanges of personal data, such as criminal records, names or addresses, need to be governed by strong data protection rules. This is what the Umbrella Agreement will ensure."
On Sept. 8, 2015, the US and EU announced that they finalized an “Umbrella Agreement” establishing a data protection framework for EU-US law enforcement cooperation. The Umbrella Agreement is subject to approval of US Congress as well as the European Parliament and Council.
The Agreement allows data to be transferred between EU and US law enforcement authorities for the purpose of preventing, investigating, detecting or prosecuting criminal offences, including terrorism.
At the same time, the agreement includes the obligation to extend equal treatment to the citizens of the other jurisdiction. That means, for example, that EU citizens will have the right to enforce data protection rights in US courts even if they are not residing in the US. Until now, EU citizens have had little luck enforcing EU law in US courts.
The EU Commission, in response to a freedom of information request, has released to EPIC the text of the EU-US data transfer agreement. US and EU officials finalized the so-called "Umbrella Agreement" in September, but had kept the final document secret. EPIC has filed multiple FOIA requests with US federal agencies and the European Commission to obtain public release of the document. The Agreement, alongside the Judicial Redress Act, is a key document in the aftermath of the European court decision striking down the Safe Harbor arrangement. Legal scholars who have reviewed the agreement have concluded it is deeply flawed. EPIC continues to pursue the public release of the Agreement from US federal agencies.
The European Union and the United States have clinched a deal protecting personal data shared for law enforcement purposes such as terrorism investigations, according to a document seen by Reuters.
The two sides have been negotiating for four years over the so-called "umbrella agreement" that would protect personal data exchanged between police and judicial authorities in the course of investigations, as well as between companies and law enforcement authorities.