The European Commission has issued the legal texts for an EU-US framework called “Privacy Shield” that aims to protect the fundamental rights of Europeans where their data is transferred to the US.Previously, US-based e-commerce in the EU relied on data rules called “Safe Harbor”. However, the European Court of Justice last year – based partly on the Edward Snowden revelations of generalised NSA snooping – struck down the system.Changes in the new framework include the creation of a privacy “ombudsman” role in the US who will be in charge of investigating complaints of inappropriate surveillance by US national security agencies.Furthermore, the EC said that for the first time, the US government has provided “written assurances” that it will place limitations on surveillance programs and set up privacy safeguards.The new set of rules focus on: “reinforcing individuals' rights, strengthening the EU internal market, ensuring stronger enforcement of the rules, streamlining international transfers of personal data and setting global data protection standards”, according to the EC.EC Vice-President Andrus Ansip said: “We have agreed on a new strong framework on data flows with the US. Our people can be sure that their personal data is fully protected. Our businesses, especially the smallest ones, have the legal certainty they need to develop their activities across the Atlantic. We have a duty to check and we will closely monitor the new arrangement to make sure it keeps delivering. Today's decision helps us build a Digital Single Market in the EU, a trusted and dynamic online environment; it further strengthens our close partnership with the US. We will work now to put it in place as soon as possible.”Commissioner Věra Jourová said: “The new EU-US Privacy Shield will protect the fundamental rights of Europeans when their personal data is transferred to U.S. companies. For the first time ever, the United States has given the EU binding assurances that the access of public authorities for national security purposes will be subject to clear limitations, safeguards and oversight mechanisms. Also for the first time, EU citizens will benefit from redress mechanisms in this area. In the context of the negotiations for this agreement, the US has assured that it does not conduct mass or indiscriminate surveillance of Europeans. We have established an annual joint review in order to closely monitor the implementation of these commitments.”