FTC Announces Privacy Shield No Penalty Enforcement Action

December 3, 2019

The FTC entered into settlements with four companies that misrepresented their participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield framework. These frameworks permit the transfer of Europeans' personal data to the U.S. with an assurance of privacy protection. The settlements require the companies to halt misrepresentations about compliance, but provides no remedy to those EU citizens whose personal data was collected. EPIC has repeatedly told Congress that that the FTC lacks effective enforcement authority. In recent comments on the Privacy Shield, EPIC also noted the absence of a comprehensive U.S. federal privacy law and a data protection authority with the authority to enforce privacy rights. Under the Schrems decision, which provided the basis for the Privacy Shield, the Court of Justice explained that "everyone whose rights and freedoms are violated" have "the right to an effective remedy."

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