U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order last weekend to implement a European Union – United States data transfer framework, which was originally announced in March to change American intelligence gathering privacy safeguards to meet EU requirements.

The new safeguards on the activities of U.S. intelligence gathering require they do only what is necessary and proportionate. It creates a two-step system – first to an intelligence agency watchdog then to a court with independent judges, whose decisions would bind intelligence agencies.

When the provisional agreement was first put forward to the European Commission in March 2022, President Ursula von der Leyen said it offered stronger legal protections and addressed the EU court’s concerns.

This is good news for European businesses who were stuck in limbo, not knowing whether they could continue using Google Analytics or GA4, AWS, Microsoft Azure and other popular U.S.-based services because of the potential that using those services contravened EU law. These concerns should now go away, which means businesses can make decisions that are right for them.

Outcomes of this order will be especially important for multinational organisations, where such legal requirements enforced fractured business and marketing decisions. Brands who worried they’d be forced to invest in different technologies in Europe versus the USA, potentially harming their business, can now step away from this and select the best tools for their business requirements, without having to make sub-optimal choices due to EU-US data flow concerns.

EU officials said it would take about six months for this to complete a complex approval process. But for now, our advice to clients is to upgrade to GA4 and not worry about moving away from any of the other US-based services they used.