Commission must see if US law allowing sale of browser histories will affect Europeans

EU-US Privacy Shield

The European Parliament today backed a report looking at the data protection agreement between the US and EU, known as the privacy shield. The report made clear the S&D Group’s concerns about recent changes in US legislation by the Trump administration that makes it possible for private companies to purchase individuals’ browsing histories without their explicit consent. The report calls for the Commission to look at the possible implications this has for EU citizens in its review of the whole agreement.

S&D MEP and chair of the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, Claude Moraes, said:

“The direction that the Trump administration is taking on data protection issues is very concerning. The European Commission needs to look urgently at the effect of the reversal of an Obama era law that prevents selling users’ data without their explicit consent. This must be part of a wide review of the privacy shield agreement to ensure that EU citizens’ data is effectively protected and that the US is keeping up its side of the bargain.”

S&D spokesperson for civil liberties, justice and home affairs, Birgit Sippel, added:

“There are still large concerns over the legality and effectiveness of the privacy shield agreement. This uncertainty is damaging for everyone involved - companies cannot take decisions if they are unsure about the foundations they are building on. It is not clear that the privacy shield prevents mass surveillance - which ultimately led to the downfall of the previous safe harbour agreement.   The Commission must look at all aspects of the deal to ensure that citizens’ concerns are addressed, that it is functioning as intended and that the US is implementing what it said it would.”