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French lawmaker challenges transatlantic data deal before EU court

MP Philippe Latombe launches the latest round of legal fighting.

It’s Groundhog Day for transatlantic data flows.

French lawmaker Philippe Latombe, a member of parliament, announced Thursday he is challenging before the European Union’s General Court a new transatlantic deal allowing companies to freely transfer data between the EU and the United States — potentially opening the door to years of legal wrangling.

The move comes less than two months after the European Commission and the U.S. government supposedly ended years of legal limbo for companies.

In July, Brussels and Washington rubber-stamped an agreement, known as the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework, after the EU’s top court in 2020 struck down its predecessor, known as Privacy Shield. The Court of Justice of the EU had annulled the scheme over concerns U.S. intelligence agencies could easily snoop on European citizens.

“The text resulting from these negotiations violates the Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, due to insufficient guarantees of respect for private and family life with regard to bulk collection of personal data, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR),” Latombe, a member of President Emmanuel Macron’s allied party Modem, wrote in his statement.

Latombe filed two challenges, he told POLITICO: one to suspend the agreement immediately and another on the text’s content.

Besides worries about U.S. mass surveillance, the Data Privacy Framework was notified to EU countries in English only, and was not published in the EU’s Official Journal, which could fall short of procedural rules, Latombe argued. He has informed the French government and the data protection authority CNIL of his challenge.

Source: Politico

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