EU-US dispute on private data protection


Subject: EU-US dispute on private data protection
From: Barbara Schleihagen (Eblida@nblc.nl)
Date: ti 13 huhti  1999 - 09:57:08 EEST


The European Union and the United States came close to reaching an
agreement which would solve their dispute on private data protection,
avoiding any interruption in transatlantic exchanges of data.

After a meeting on 7 April, it was announced that proposals would be made
public in two or three weeks. The agreement of the EU Member States would
be necessary to endorse any American proposal but the date for the EU/US
summit on 21 June in order to find a solution was maintained.

The dispute is about the implementation of a European directive which
enables the national authorities of an EU Member State to suspend the
transfer of data towards third countries if those countries do not provide
an adequate level of protection for private data. The directive entered
into force last October and has, to date, been transposed into national
legislation by seven of the fifteen Member States. Countries such as Italy
and Greece which previously did not have any legislative provision where
the first to implement.

The American approach, conversely, is based on principles of
auto-regulation, considered to be better suited to the information sector
which is constantly evolving. The private sector in co-operation with the
American administration is about to implement a "safe harbour" in order to
group together all companies which undertake to comply with certain
principles of protection of private data. The purpose of the EU/US dialogue
is for that arrangemment to be recognised by the EU.

The European Commission is to report on 19 April to the "Article 31
Committee" which supervises the implementation of the directive and where
national administrations are representd, and the American Administration
will consult industry once again.

(Source: Bulletin Quotitien Europe of Friday, 9 April 1999)

Best wishes,
Barbara Schleihagen
**********************************************************************
EBLIDA
Barbara Schleihagen, Director
Heidi Hogan, EU Policy Officer
P.O. Box 43300
NL-2504 AH The Hague
Tel: +31-70-309 06 08
Fax: +31-70-309 07 08
email: eblida@nblc.nl
http://www.eblida.org/

**********************************************************************
EBLIDA
Barbara Schleihagen, Director
Heidi Hogan, EU Policy Officer
P.O. Box 43300
NL-2504 AH The Hague
Tel: +31-70-309 06 08
Fax: +31-70-309 07 08
email: eblida@nblc.nl
http://www.eblida.org/



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