At a Glance:
On Oct. 7, 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden issued Executive Order on ‘Enhancing Safeguards for United States Signals Intelligence Activities’ (“Executive Order” or “EO”). It is described by the U.S. as “a durable and reliable legal foundation” and “that the new ’robust’ commitments contained in the executive order ’fully addresses’ the issues raised in the [EU] Court of Justice’s decision on Privacy Shield” (the “Schrems II ruling”). This Executive Order will form the basis for a new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework, aka Safe Harbor Framework v3 or Privacy Shield 2.0.
The issuance of the EO was a central part of the agreement in principle reached between the EU and the U.S. to address the issues raised in the Schrems II ruling. While most of the world waited for this Executive Order, we now all wait for the EU’s response as to whether or not this EO, once its requirements are implemented, suffices to lift the U.S. to an adequate level of data protection within the meaning of Art. 45 GDPR. Even before full implementation of the procedural aspects of the EO, the Executive Order will have a positive impact on data transfers given that the surveillance must be conducted in a proportionate manner that takes into account the impact to privacy and civil liberties of all persons, assuming the EU will be designated as a “qualifying state” by the U.S. Attorney General under the EO.