Brussels and Washington struck a new deal Tuesday on data transfers relied on by Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) and Google after a European court struck down the previous pact for failing to protect users from US spying, sources said.
Businesses on both sides of the Atlantic (Shanghai: 600558.SS - news) had expressed concerns about the legal limbo and had warned of the fallout if the two sides failed to reach a new agreement, which was meant to happen by the end of January.
"The European Commission and the United States have reached a political agreement on a renewed and safe framework for transatlantic data flows" to replace the so-called "Safe Harbor" pact, European sources told AFP.
"For the first time, the US has given the EU binding assurances that the access of public authorities for law enforcement and national security will be subject to clear limitations, safeguards and oversight mechanisms," the sources added.
"EU citizens will, also for the first time, benefit from redress mechanisms in this area," they said.
The European Court of Justice in October ruled that the EU-US arrangement allowing firms to transfer European citizens' personal information to the US was "invalid."
It (Other OTC: ITGL - news) cited US snooping practices exposed by Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who leaked a hoard of National Security Agency documents.
The case stemmed from a legal challenge brought by Austrian Internet activist and law student Max Schrems against Facebook in Ireland (Other OTC: IRLD - news) .