As the transatlantic data flow saga continues, French MP Philippe Latombe has thrown a curveball. He has announced his challenge to a new transatlantic agreement that permits companies to freely transfer data between the EU and the US. This unexpected move comes less than two months after the European Commission and the U.S. government seemingly resolved years of uncertainty for businesses involved in data transfers.
The agreement, known as the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework, was approved by Brussels and Washington in July. This replaced its predecessor, the Privacy Shield, which was struck down by the EU’s top court over fears of easy surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies on European citizens. Now, Latombe has voiced concerns that this new agreement infringes upon the Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, particularly in terms of privacy and personal data collection.
Latombe, a member of President Emmanuel Macron’s allied party Modem, has submitted two challenges. The first seeks to suspend the agreement immediately, while the second disputes the content of the text itself. He argues that the Data Privacy Framework was only communicated to EU countries in English and wasn’t published in the EU’s Official Journal, potentially falling short of procedural rules.
This development puts the spotlight back on transatlantic data flows and their legal implications. Latombe’s challenge has been communicated to the French government and data protection authority CNIL. It remains to be seen how this will impact businesses and data transfer protocols between the EU and U.S.