United States, European Union announce agreement on intelligence data privacy

Oversight will strengthen protections of "U.S. signals intelligence activities."
The flag of the European Union

The United States and the European Union this week announced an agreement regarding data sharing privacy between the two governing authorities, a move the White House said will “strengthen the privacy and civil liberties protections applicable to U.S. signals intelligence activities."

The new “Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework” will establish “safeguards to ensure that signals surveillance activities are necessary and proportionate in the pursuit of defined national security objectives,” the White House said in an announcement on Friday.

The new measures will also guarantee “a two-level independent redress mechanism with binding authority to direct remedial measures” as well as “enhance rigorous and layered oversight of signals intelligence activities to ensure compliance with limitations on surveillance activities.”

Signals intelligence is, according to the National Security Agency, “intelligence derived from electronic signals and systems used by foreign targets, such as communications systems, radars, and weapons systems.”

The White House said the agreement is “​​another demonstration of the strength of the U.S.-EU relationship, in that we continue to deepen our partnership as a community of democracies to ensure both security and respect for privacy and to enable economic opportunities for our companies and citizens.”