Google and the invalidation of the Privacy Shield agreement

This 3rd of August, Google informed its users about the change in the privacy policies, valid since the 12th. This modification was the result of the recent ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union. This ruling invalidates the so-called Privacy Shield agreement of 2016 between the European Union and USA.

Consequently, the privacy policy of this tool shall move to standard contract clauses (SCCs) (SCC). These SCCs served to transfer digital advertising and personal data measurement outside of the European Economic Area, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Likewise, is also coming up an update of the Google Ads Data Processing Terms, the Google Ads Controller Data Protection Terms and the Google Measurement Controller-Controller Data Protection Terms to add the relevant SCCs adopted by the European Commission.

The Google team said that these updates aim to address GDPR compliance, specifying that they do not grant Google any additional rights over data. The changes took effect on August 12, 2020.

What does the invalidation of the Privacy Shield agreement mean?

Privacy Shield was the legal mechanism to make international transferences of collected data in the European Union to USA. This agreement validated that data was going to be processed in the US, respecting the GDPR.

Some experts have stated that the annulment of this agreement could trigger chaos in the commercial relations between the EU and USA.

Authorizations, modifications of privacy policies and signature of new contract clauses are now necessary. This is because the data transferences between these two become illegal. The situation could even derive in bills or big sanctions for the tech companies for violation of the GDPR.

The causes of this decision?

The Court of Justice of the European Union has considered that USA does not give enough guarantees of protecting the privacy of the data. This is why they took the decision of invalidating the Privacy Shield Agreement.

Who has prompted this decision?

Maximilliam Schrems, of whom we have talked about before in this blog. The reclaim of this Austrien citizen was because he didn’t want his data sent to the US. He also declared being very satisfied with the trial.

This, without a doubt, will mark a turning point in the relations between States and the European Union regarding privacy and for nearly 5000 companies that work under the protection of this agreement.

This way, Europe proves that they have maintained the leadership in matter of data privacy and protection.


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John Lea

Master of Business Administration and Professor of Digital Marketing. I really agree with Albert Einstein on this one: "If you can't explain it to a 6-year-old, it means you don't know it. "

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