The importance of economic relations between the US and EU has taken on an extra dimension following the onset of the war in Ukraine. Secure and approved data flows are increasingly significant during these turbulent times, when the importance of conducting trade and research with close allies is clearly evident. Therefore, a new EU-US data transfer agreement must be concluded as early as possible.
International data flows are now a prerequisite for the provision of many services, not least for the increasing share of connected products and vehicles. Trade has always been easier when borders are open, and this is particularly true for digital services and the growing number of products that connected to the network. When data transfers are made more difficult or even prohibited, the opportunities for efficiency, expansion and growth are much more limited. Global data flows need to be kept open in order for businesses to flourish.
Currently, many companies are struggling with extensive legal analysis and costly technical solutions to meet GDPR requirements in order to avoid the threat of huge fines for making data transfers to countries without adequacy decisions.
The EU and US have recently presented an agreement in principle, as a first step towards a new adequacy agreement for data transfers. When the previous Privacy Shield agreement was presented, it took seven months for the transfer mechanism to become effective and available for use by companies.
Many companies are now dependent on exports and imports to and from the US market and therefore rely heavily on data transfers across the Atlantic. In addition, there are many innovative companies with ambitions to grow their businesses beyond the borders of the EU. The digital transformation has accelerated sharply during the pandemic, and we have achieved record levels of investment in digital communications. However, there are a number of major concerns for businesses when data transfers are not allowed. Given the nature of personal data typically transferred by businesses, the precautions currently required are much too far-reaching.
Given the current crisis situation, the importance of conducting trade and research with close allies becomes clearly evident. Therefore, a new EU-US data transfer agreement must be concluded as soon as possible.
It is of the utmost importance for continuing business competitiveness that the EU takes the decisions that will secure global data transfers. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise therefore urges the Member States and the EU parliamentarians to support the European Commission’s efforts to reach a new agreement with the US on this topic. The future of the EU will be built by our companies achieving new business relationships and strong competitiveness in Europe, across the Atlantic and globally.DataflödenData flowsEU