Protecting Privacy: EU-Japan to Establish the World’s Largest Data Flows

Written by | Friday, September 7th, 2018

The European Union and Japan have agreed to ensure safe transmission of data between both sides – a move that comes while Brussels is struggling to finalize a similar deal with Washington. The so-called EU-US privacy shield is being scrutinized as the deal allows EU firms to export data to the US provided that the US sticks to EU regulations. The Commission is about to review the process and the effectiveness of the current EU-US framework but Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova was clear in saying that if the US does not comply, the EU will need to act.

“If the US authorities fail to comply with its terms, then it must be suspended until they do,” Parliament’s rapporteur for the shield, Claude Moraes, commented in the summer. In reality, there are legitimate concerns that American companies will ignore the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. In the meantime, the EU and Japan have agreed to recognize each other’s data protection systems and to protect EU citizens’ data when transmitted to Japan and other countries. The new framework will also include a complaint-handling system that will be put in place to analyse complaints from EU nationals.

Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova confirmed the plans on Wednesday (5 September) when she explained that “we are creating the world’s largest area of safe data flows. Personal data will be able to travel safely between the EU and Japan to the benefit of both our citizens and our economies. Our partnership will promote global standards for data protection and set an example for future partnerships in this key area.”

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