Three sources familiar with the matter told POLITICO that the White House is set to issue its long-anticipated executive order on transatlantic data flows next week.

The new Privacy Shield is intended to address European complaints about US surveillance methods, and it may be signed and announced by President Joe Biden as early as October 3.

According to Peter Swire, a former Bill Clinton administration chief advisor for privacy, the White House proclamation is expected to work in conjunction with US Department of Justice regulatory requirements used to supervise American national security agencies.

Peter Swire currently works as a professor at Georgia Tech. His contributions have shaped part of the legal grounds for the template of the upcoming Privacy Shield.

The EU’s approval procedure comes next

According to an anonymous White House official, the draft of the planned executive order has been finished. POLITICO did not name the source because the official was not allowed to discuss the information provided.

When the executive order is publicly disclosed next week, the European Commission’s approval procedure will begin, which may take up to six months. As a result, the revised transatlantic data agreement is expected to be available in March 2023.

While no specifics on the executive order have been released, four anonymous sources participating in the negotiations outlined various new legal safeguards for the ways in which US national security services can obtain and process the data of European and American residents.

There is also a new guideline that addresses how agencies should perform surveillance activities, signifying a significant shift in how personal data can be utilized for national security objectives in the EU and US.

Privacy Shield background

In March, Brussels, and Washington reached an agreement to update the Privacy Shield agreement, which permits anything from payroll data to family photos to be shared across the Atlantic.

Progress on how such an agreement would function has stagnated until now, owing to continued worries among European Commission members that any new pact with the US would face instant court challenges.

The former Privacy Shield was abolished on 16 July 2020, after EU courts ruled that the agreement did not adequately shield Europeans from US snooping. Negotiations to amend the Privacy Shield started in the same year and may be concluded as early as next week.

Tip: EU-US data transfers will soon be legal, new Privacy Shield under way