Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker at EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework Press Conference


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker joined European Union Commissioner Věra Jourová to announce the approval of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. The Framework is a milestone achievement that will provide strong data privacy and facilitate more trade and job creating investments in both the U.S. and Europe.

In her remarks, Secretary Pritzker thanked Commissioner Jourová and the U.S. and EU negotiating teams for their tireless efforts to adopt the Framework. Secretary Pritzker emphasized that both consumers and businesses will benefit from this agreement. For businesses, the Framework will facilitate more trade and collaboration across the Atlantic, and for consumers, the Framework will ensure access to the latest technologies, while providing strong privacy protections. Secretary Pritzker noted that the Commerce Department will start accepting certifications on August 1st.

Updated Privacy Shield Fact Sheet

Privacy Shield Frequently Asked Questions


Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you for that kind introduction. Věra, I am thrilled that we can be together to announce the approval of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. The Department of Commerce and the European Commission, together, have worked hard to develop a Framework that protects privacy for consumers and creates certainty for companies on both sides of the Atlantic. I want to thank you, Věra, for your dedication and your friendship.  Without your leadership we would not have reached this milestone.  And to everyone on the U.S. and EU negotiating teams, you know who you are, I want to thank you for your tireless efforts.

I also want to thank my Obama Administration colleagues for their support of the Commerce Department throughout these negotiations, including Secretary Kerry, Director Clapper, Chairwoman Ramirez, Attorney General Lynch, and their teams.

The approval of the Privacy Shield is a milestone for privacy at a time when the sharing of data is driving growth in every sector, from advanced manufacturing to advertising. For businesses, the Framework will facilitate more trade across our borders, more collaboration across the Atlantic, and more job creating investments in our communities. For consumers, the Framework will ensure you have access to your favorite online services and the latest technologies, while strongly protecting your privacy. This Agreement includes new privacy protections for companies to implement, new commitments from my Department to oversee compliance, new collaboration with European institutions to ensure the Framework functions as intended, and new redress options for people across the EU. It also increases cooperation between the Federal Trade Commission and the EU Data Protection Authorities to ensure independent, vigorous enforcement.

With new privacy protections in place, we are confident the Framework will withstand further scrutiny. We worked hand in hand with the European Commission to address the concerns raised throughout this process. We will continue to work closely with the Article 29 Working Party and the European Data Protection Authorities to implement the Privacy Shield. I particularly also want to thank Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, Chair of the Article 29 Working Party, for her thoughtful engagement during this process. Together, our governments are committed to ensuring that the Framework functions as intended, and through a robust annual review, that it meets the changing needs of consumers and businesses.

We know that individuals and industry alike have faced uncertainty but I want to assure you that all of us are committed to a smooth transition to the Privacy Shield. To that end, once companies have had the opportunity to review the latest provisions of the Framework, we will begin to accept certifications on August 1st.

With the approval of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, we send an important message to the world: The sharing of ideas and information across borders is not only good for our businesses but also for our communities and our people. For businesses, the free flow of data makes it possible for a startup in Silicon Valley to hire programmers in the Czech Republic, or a manufacturer in Germany to collaborate with a research lab in Tennessee. For consumers, the free flow of data means that you can take advantage of the latest, most innovative digital products and services, no matter where they originate. 

Bringing the United States and Europe – the world’s largest and most advanced economies – together around complex issues like privacy is not easy. But today, it is more important than ever. While we may have our differences, the promotion of our common values and our joint leadership are critical to building a stable world that offers broad-based prosperity and opportunity to our peoples. Thank you.

Related content

Last updated: 2016-07-12 10:30

Bureaus & Offices

Search by organization name or browse the tree below