EU wants Trump reassurances on data protection: commissioner
The EU is hoping for reassurances from new US President Donald Trump that he will stick by a hard-won personal data protection accord with Europe, a top official said Friday.
The EU and US agreed the deal last year after the bloc's top court struck down a previous arrangement which left internet giants such as Google and Facebook unsure whether they could transfer European data to the US without facing a legal challenge.
EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said Brussels was "very vigilant" about what was happening in the United States, where Trump has been ditching key parts of his predecessor's legacy.
"We have very high standards of protection of privacy in the European Union and these high standards, this protection must travel wherever the data goes," Jourova told reporters in Valetta.
The Privacy Shield agreement was "based to a large extent on the trust which we had towards (our) American partners, towards the Obama administration," she said.
"This trust must continue and be renewed ... I need to be reassured that Privacy Shield can remain," Jourova said.
"Of course, I hope I will have such assurance but we are very vigilant at the moment."
The European Commission said in a statement some 1,700 US companies have so far signed up to Privacy Shield which safeguards the use of Europeans' personal data and allows them to seek redress in US courts if need be.
A separate EU-US agreement which becomes effective next month will also offer "a high level of protection for EU citizens' personal data when transferred to US judicial and police authorities," the statement noted.
This provision was agreed as part of the effort to combat terrorism, made a key pledge by Trump on the campaign trail.
© 2017 AFP