We Europeans feel that we have the strongest data protection for our citizens in the world. Consequently, when the data of EU citizens is transferred outside of the EU, this may only be done to countries with a level of data protection that is more or less equivalent to that of the EU. Data flows to the USA are of particular interest in this regard. Most of our personal data flows to the USA for the simple reason that most of the gadgets and online services we use are from the USA. Europe feels that the USA has very poor data protection, not just for its own citizens but in particular for non-US citizens who do not enjoy constitutional privacy protection under the 4th Amendment. And if the Snowden revelations are anything to go by, there definitely seems to be some merit to this argument.
- The EU privacy shield: avoiding the big iPhone blackout?, Leiden Law Blog