US Secretary of Commerce claims that a refined Safe Harbour deal will pacify European data worries
A revised agreement on transatlantic data sharing between the US and the EU is on the cards, according US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who reportedly told journalists in Frankfurt today that “a solution is within hand”.
Her remarks come after the European Court of Justice (CJEU) slammed the original Safe Harbour deal – a deal that regulated the safe and secure passage of data from the EU to the States – earlier this month.
European data protection laws have made it so EU citizen data could not be transferred to regions or by processes that were not deemed secure.
But the CJEU deemed the Safe Harbour agreement, used by US companies to take EU data to the States, as not fit for Europeans, whose concerns about data sovereignty have grown since the Snowden revelations.
Reuters cited Pritzker as saying: “We had an agreement prior to the court case I think with modest refinements that are being negotiated we could have an agreement shortly.
“The solution … is Safe Harbour 2.0, which is totally doable.”
Following the CJEU ruling, the US was given three months to provide a revised alternative to guarantee secure data transportation. US companies could come under fire of legal action if a new system is not introduced.
This week, the UK’s Information Commissioners Office (ICO) sought to reassure British firms nervous of the implications regarding the data sharing ruling made earlier this month.
The ICO soothing comes after it was revealed that firms that continue to transfer EU individuals’ personal data to the US under ‘Safe Harbour’ rules would face legal action beginning at the end of January 2016.
However, the ICO said that the next few months will be critical, and it is hopeful that the Safe Harbour 2.0 will emerge and “provide a strong and effective framework for protecting individuals when their personal data are transferred from the EU to the US.”
The EU and the US have been in negotiations for the past two years over a new agreement to replace Safe Harbour that would better protect data transferred to the US. In May it was revealed those negotiations are very close to completion.