2 min

Depending on who you ask, the United States and European Union may or may not be close to a Transatlantic data flow deal. The answer from Washington is that the deal is close to going through. Brussels, on the other hand, is not so sure about the likelihood of reaching a deal.

Ever since the EU’s top court annulled the Privacy Shield Agreement last July, experts from both sides have been hard at work to come up with a replacement deal that will allow companies to move Europeans’ data to the United States, with sufficient measures in place to ensure the US intelligence agencies don’t get access.

Brussels vs Washington

Ahead of talks in Brussels this week, the US is projecting a vibe that indicates the deal is close. Washington briefed industry groups and privacy campaigners that proposals have been floated to overcome the impasses, even though details were not readily available.

Officials from the US say that a political agreement may be a couple of weeks away, around the same time the EU-US Trade and Technology council has its first meeting, on September 29.

Brussels is hearing this for the first time and has the final say on what kind of deals get approved.

A conflict of legislation

EU officials are not confident that a data deal can happen before the end of the month and wants to avoid having a third data transfer deal struck down by the bloc’s highest court. The US has to make legislative changes for the deal to stick, according to EU officials, to give EU citizens a more meaningful way to challenge data access in US courts. Washington’s efforts to shoehorn data flows into the Trade and Technology Council initiatives have not been well received. It remains to be seen whether they can please the Europeans.