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US reaches data deal with EU

The EU has reached a last-minute agreement with the United States on the transfer of personal data, following the abolition of the Safe Harbour agreement last year.

“Our people can be sure that their personal data is fully protected,” said commissioner Andrus Ansip, who is in charge of the EU’s digital single market. “The US has ruled out indiscriminate mass surveillance on the personal data transferred to the US under the new arrangement,” the Commission said in a statement, adding that both sides will monitor how the deal works every year.

The so-called Privacy Shield agreed on 2 February will replace Safe Harbour, a legal framework that the European Court of Justice ruled invalid in October. The Court’s ruling followed a complaint by Austrian student Max Schrems, who objected to the transfer of his data to the US by Facebook; and the decision pushed the Commission to speed up its 2013 plans to review the Safe Harbour arrangements.

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