What does this cover?

In September 2015 the European Commission announced the finalisation of an EU-US data agreement (the Umbrella Agreement). The agreement is to regulate how US authorities process the personal data of EU citizens when received in criminal investigations but it also seeks to strengthen and allow for greater EU-US law enforcement co-operation. The European Commission has made the Umbrella Agreement conditional on the US Congress passing the US Judicial Review Act (the Act). The Act will give EU citizens the right to obtain judicial redress in the US when their data is mishandled by US authorities and is key to the Umbrella Agreement and to the new EU-US Privacy Shield.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (the EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli, has released an opinion on the Umbrella Agreement which has three key recommendations to ensure the agreement's compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the provisions of the TFEU; which concern the right of protection of personal data.

The three key recommendations include:

  1. clarification that all the safeguards apply to all individuals protected by the Charter and not only to EU nationals;
  2. ensuring judicial redress provisions are effective within the meaning of the Charter;
  3. clarification that transfers of sensitive data in bulk are not authorised by the Umbrella Agreement.

To view the EDPS press announcement on the opinion, please click here.

To view the EDPS opinion, please click here.