Is the EU-US Privacy Shield Merely a Smokescreen?

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The EU and the US are test-driving a new privacy policy that will permit companies to share and send personal details across EU airwaves. The deal is yet to be approved by the many and varied commissions, legislations, and individual parties that need to give their stamp before it can be rolled out, but if it does go through, the Privacy Shield could mean a change in the way European businesses do business. Nevertheless, many are nervous that protection is not the goal of this deal at all.

A Demand for Change

After the humbling Snowden incident back in 2013, the Safe Harbour Privacy Policy (the agreement that was governing transference regulations between businesses) was scrapped in 2015. In its absence, the governing entities have been working to come to a new agreement that would allow companies to carry on business as usual while still maintaining a high level of security. The EU-US Privacy Shield, as the new policy has been named, is a more involved agreement, and it is hoped that this legislation will be more effective than its predecessor.

Something Old, Nothing New

There are those who remain sceptical of the efficacy of the Privacy Shield, however. Antagonists argue that there is little difference between this agreement and the ineffectual previous version. While the new policy does include additional restrictions to the transference of information, most of these regulations are benign.

The added annual reviews promises a whisper of protection, but this won’t protect European citizens against privacy attacks. What’s more, the biggest issue most whistle-blowers have with the Privacy Shield is that it makes no mention of any alterations to US government practices. Considering the fact that these bodies are the ones who are being held at fault for the breach in security during the Snowden debacle, it stands to reason that some new measures of protection and security should arise. Thus far, none have been forthcoming, leaving many individuals uneasy and unhopeful that the new policy will pass legislations.