EU data protection authorities are expected to release their opinion on the EU-US Privacy Shield after a working party meeting today and tomorrow in Brussels.

The opinion of national authorities is an important step in the approval process of the proposed new legal framework for commercial data transfers to allow the transfer of EU data to servers in the US.

The European Commission, which negotiated the agreement with the US, released a positive draft adequacy decision on 29 February, but it is unclear if national data protection authorities will concur, as some have expressed concerns about aspects such as the proposed redress mechanism.

In addition to the Privacy Shield, the new legal framework is based on several other legal texts including 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.

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.