The International Trade Council (ITC) is concerned by the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to strike down the EU-US Privacy Shield, which governed the transfer of EU citizens' data to the United States. The ITC recognizes the potential negative consequences of this decision on transatlantic trade worth $7.1 trillion (£5.6tn), and urges both the European Union and the United States to work together to find a swift resolution to this dispute.
"The EU-US Privacy Shield system underpins transatlantic digital trade for more than 5,300 companies, and its invalidation could have a major impact on small-medium enterprises and start-ups," said the ITC's Director General. "We urge both sides to come to an agreement that respects the privacy rights of EU citizens while promoting transatlantic trade and economic growth."
The ITC acknowledges the concerns raised by privacy advocates about US national security laws and the extent of US surveillance. However, the ITC also recognizes the importance of transatlantic digital trade for businesses of all sizes, and calls on both sides to work towards a new agreement that addresses these concerns while promoting economic growth and innovation.
The ITC urges affected companies to sign "standard contractual clauses": non-negotiable legal contracts drawn up by Europe, which are used in other countries besides the US, and to work with their legal advisers to ensure that their data transfer practices comply with EU data protection law.