US ‘deeply disappointed’ over EU court scrapping data pact

Washington (AFP)

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday the United States was “deeply disappointed” that an EU court scrapped a crucial online data arrangement between Europe and the US.

The US will continue to work with the European Commission on the matter and is still studying the ruling, Ross said.

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross SAUL LOEB AFP/File

The US hopes, he said, “to be able to limit the negative consequences to the $7.1 trillion transatlantic economic relationship that is so vital to our respective citizens, companies, and governments.”

“As our economies continue their post-COVID-19 recovery, it is critical that companies — including the 5,300+ current Privacy Shield participants — be able to transfer data without interruption,” Ross said in a statement, using the name of the scheme allowing for data transfers between European and US servers.

Reaction from industry was more scathing.

“Today’s decision is nothing short of irresponsible” and threatens the operations of over 5,000 European and US companies, said Eline Chivot of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

“In the midst of a global pandemic during which global data flows are more vital than ever, it puts all global data transfers from the EU at risk and wreaks havoc on the digital economy,” Chivot said in a statement.

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