City Research Online

The Future of the EU-US Privacy Shield

Fahey, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-2603-5300 & Terpan, F. (2023). The Future of the EU-US Privacy Shield. In: Fahey, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-2603-5300 (Ed.), The Routledge Research Handbook of Transatlantic Relations. (pp. 221-236). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.


The invalidation of the Privacy Shield has shown how serious the CJEU was with regards to the protection of EU citizens’ data. It may not have created a legal vacuum, the GDPR offering different alternative possibilities including standard contractual clauses and binding corporate rules. But it certainly has opened a phase of uncertainties and legal complexity which is not favourable to a smooth and continuous flow of data across the Atlantic. In this chapter we use soft law, defined as an act comprising a soft dimension with regard to either the obligation or the enforcement mechanism. We argued that the adequacy Decision of the Commission -a hard law act- suffers from a major weakness derived from the softness of the guarantees provided by the US government. Changes proposed resulting in the hardening of EU-US arrangements through a new Framework and with a Review Court, may dramatically evolve the partnership. Apart from the hardening of EU-US arrangements, the strengthening of US domestic rules on data protection could also contribute to the securing of transatlantic data flows through hard law legalisation line with the CJEU vision.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Routledge Handbook of Transatlantic Relations on 31 July 2023, available online:
Publisher Keywords: EU-US; Transatlantic; Soft law; Privacy Shield; Governance
Subjects: J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
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