European Commission’s Safe Harbor Report Released

European Commission’s Safe Harbor Report Released

This morning, the European Commission released its long-awaited report evaluating the US-EU Safe Harbor. The Commission proposed series of recommendations “to restore trust in data flows between the EU and the U.S.”

The Future of Privacy Forum is currently preparing an in-depth report on the Safe Harbor that will address the concerns presented by the European Commission.  However, FPF believes the European Commission’s criticism is largely misplaced.  Christopher Wolf, FPF Co-Chair, suggests that the Commission’s analysis “does not reveal any significant deficiencies . . . It is clear that the main area of concern is national security access to data, which is not what the Safe Harbor was intended to or can address.”



Posted On
Nov 27, 2013
Posted By
Damon Greer

Clearly, the so-called “long awaited report” is nothing more than what has been discussed in closed sessions with the Article 29 WP, the Commission — DG Justice — and EDPS. For some time, links to privacy policies have been clearly accessible via certified firms’ public records. Now, they are also available in pdf format as they are added to the SH website. Not current enterprises are clearly identified and listed on the website. in fact, using a simple search function, anyone may download an MS Xcel spreadsheet containing only not current companies, current firms, or the entire database with limited fields provided. Nearly 55% of all SH certified firms use the data protection authorities for third party dispute resolution. The remaining that are used are identified in each member’s record. This report could have been released two years ago when we received the executive summary from DG Justice. Having worked with the Europeans for five + years on Safe Harbor leads me to believe along with many others that the current issue is political and legal. We have a common law framework that is not Europe. Europe has a civil law framework that is not the United States. Safe Harbor was negotiated to bridge the differences to serve as a compromise. What the Euros seem to forget that SH was instrumental to introducing the concept of privacy to the U.S. business community.

It would be nice if FPF would at least acknowledge receipt of the comment. I know there are biases against my views on SH but this town could use a little courtesy.

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