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Committee Leaders Urge Commerce Department & FTC to Work with European Regulators Following Privacy Shield Decision

Aug 5, 2020
Press Release

The four bipartisan leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee wrote to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Joseph Simons today urging them to work with their European counterparts to quickly issue interim guidance to protect consumers and help businesses following the recent decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that overturned the European Union (EU)-United States (U.S.) Privacy Shield Framework.  

The letter was signed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS), Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA).  

On July 16, the ECJ invalidated the Privacy Shield, which had allowed the transfer of data from the EU to the U.S. in compliance with EU law since 2016.

“In the wake of this decision, thousands of American businesses that relied on the Privacy Shield are left with few options for the processing of data from the EU,” the four bipartisan committee leaders wrote. “This decision may significantly disrupt their operations and the consumers who rely upon their services.”

The four committee leaders wrote that the Privacy Shield had been particularly important for small and medium-sized businesses who need a framework for protecting consumer data while engaging with customers in the EU. 

“Avoiding unnecessary disruptions to the businesses affected by the ECJ decision and the consumers they serve is critical,” Pallone, Walden, Wicker and Cantwell continued in their letter to Ross and Simons. “Accordingly, we encourage you to work closely and expeditiously with your European counterparts to issue interim guidance to make sure that consumer and business services are not unduly disrupted, and personal data is protected.”

Read the letter to the Department of Commerce and FTC HERE.  

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