The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (WP29) adopted its opinion on the EU-US Privacy Shield draft adequacy decision on April 13, 2016. The Privacy Shield saw the light after the invalidation by the Court of Justice of the European Union or CJEU (Schrems judgement) of the previous Safe Harbor agreement. The Opinion is complemented by a Working Document on the justification of interferences with the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection through surveillance when transferring personal data (European Essential Guarantees).
Months before, on October 2015, the WP29 stated that an assessment of the consequences of the Schrems decision with respect to all mechanism permitting data transfers to the US will be carried out. The WP29 proceed then to inventor and examine the jurisprudence of the CJEU as regards to Articles 7, 8 and 47 of the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Jurisprudence as well as the of the European Court of Human Rights related to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights dealing with surveillance issues. The conclusions of this assessment led to the four European Essential Guarantees.
The Opinion of the WP29 includes an assessment of the Guarantees for data transfer to the US. According to it, the Privacy Shield includes significant improvements compared to the EU-US Safe Harbor framework. However, major points of concern remain and further clarification is needed in several aspects. The Working Party stressed the general complexity and lack of clarity regarding the Privacy Shield and expressed concerns with respect to both the commercial and national security aspects of the new framework.