The European Union heralded the entry into force of a new trans-Atlantic data transfer tool it promised will restore citizens’ trust when their personal information is shipped over to the U.S. by multinational companies.

“The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield is a robust new system to protect the personal data of Europeans and ensure legal certainty for businesses,” EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said in a statement on Tuesday, the first day of the new pact. “It brings stronger data protection standards that are better enforced, safeguards on government access, and easier redress for individuals in case of complaints.”

The EU and U.S. were forced back to the drawing board after the bloc’s top court in October annulled a “safe-harbor” accord dating back to 2000 for failing to offer safeguards to EU citizens when U.S.-based companies such as social media giant Facebook Inc. process personal data on customers, from billing information to the content of messages. The new deal, clinched in February, seeks to address concerns that American spies had unfettered access to private data on European citizens.

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