International Privacy – 2013 Year in Review

Fighting the war on two fronts:

External

Outside of the EU, concerns continue after the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaks demonstrated issues related to U.S. handling of European data. Beginning in July, 2013, the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks were seen as a focus of cross-border interoperability, with Germany initially applying internal pressure to include commercial spying rules during the negotiation before Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner and vice-president, confirmed that data protection would not be part of the negotiation. In contrast, Ms. Reding stated that the EU expects that the U.S. will pursue “necessary legislative change” by the summer of 2014 to allow EU citizens the “right of judicial redress” to sue in the U.S. if EU citizen data is misused, a right “[e]very U.S. citizen in the European Union already enjoys…irrespective of whether he or she is resident in the EU.”

The European Commission (EC) released a memorandum relating to EU-U.S. data flows on November 27, 2013, focused specifically on “large-scale U.S. intelligence collection programmes,” which “have had a negative impact on the transatlantic relationship.” There, the EC reported on findings of the July 2013 EU-U.S. Working Group and  analyzed the function of the current EU-U.S. safe harbor, which has been in place since 2000. In contrast, the United States has indicated that the current safe harbor “remains an effective way of protecting online data for both American and European consumers.”

via International privacy – 2013 year in review – European Union – Lexology.

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