The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will hold a hearing this Thursday on the new legal framework for commercial data transfers agreed by European and US negotiators.

The committee will hear from European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, and the lead US negotiator on the deal, Ted Dean. EU Commissioner Vera Jourova, responsible for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, is also expected to attend, as is Max Schrems, the Austrian citizen whose legal action against Facebook, helped to unravel the former "Safe Harbour" framework.

You can follow the public hearing, which will be held at the European Parliament in Brussels from 15:00-18:30, by webstream here. The draft programme for the hearing is available here.

EU parliament committees regularly hold public hearings to give lawmakers the opportunity to hear from experts and hold discussions on the key issues.

The new legal framework for EU-US data transfers is based on several legal texts, which must still be approved in Europe. These include the new framework for commercial data transfers, known as the EU-US Privacy Shield; a reform of EU Data protection rules, which apply to all companies providing services in the EU; and an 'Umbrella Agreement' regarding transatlantic data transfers for law enforcement purposes.

EU and US negotiators have reached agreement on the Privacy Shield but the EU's Member States and their national data protection authorities still need to be consulted.

The European Parliament and EU Member States are expected to formally adopt the new data protection reforms in the first half of this year.

EU Member States must approve the Umbrella Agreement but can only do so after first seeking the consent of the European Parliament.