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EU, U.S. reach preliminary deal to avoid disruption in data flows

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The European Union and the United States reached a preliminary agreement to avoid major disruption in transatlantic data flows that had been jeopardized by a ruling of the EU top court, the EU Commission head and the U.S. President said on Friday, according to Reuters.

Data transfers between the EU and the U.S. have faced a risk of major disruption since a ruling of the EU Court of Justice in 2020 which invalidated a previous arrangement aimed at balancing EU privacy concerns with U.S. surveillance measures.

“Today, we’ve agreed to unprecedented protections for data privacy and security for citizens,” Joe Biden said in a joint news conference in Brussels with the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“I am very pleased that we have found an agreement in principle on a new framework for transatlantic data flows,” von der Leyen said.

„This will enable predictable and trustworthy data flows between the EU and U.S., safeguarding privacy and civil liberties,” she added, without elaborating.

Data privacy campaigners said they would study the pact.

“The final text will need more time, once this arrives we will analyze it in depth, together with our U.S. legal experts. If it is not in line with EU law, we or another group will likely challenge it,” said activist Max Schrems.