The LIBE Committee Wants To “Suspend” The Safe Harbor… Along With Thousands of EU Employee Salaries

The LIBE Committee Wants To “Suspend” The Safe Harbor… Along With Thousands of EU Employee Salaries

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) released a draft report yesterday calling for the European Commission to suspend the US-EU Safe Harbor.  FPF has written an in-depth report analyzing the effectiveness of the current Safe Harbor regime and cautioning the European Commission not to revoke the agreement, which has been largely successful in safeguarding user privacy while promoting international data transfers.  We’ve yet to see the Committee’s actual draft, but we are nonetheless concerned that the Commission is so willing to suspend the framework, especially when it will mean that thousands of EU employees risk experiencing delays in getting their paychecks.

The Safe Harbor is a well-established mechanism for the transfer of data between the US and EU and is designed to streamline compliance requirements for US small businesses.  One of the most common types of data transferred from the EU to the US is human resources data – this is because many EU data subjects work for US companies in Europe.  In fact, FPF has searched through the Safe Harbor List and found that over 1,695 companies listed as “current” members use the Safe Harbor to process their human resources data.  That’s over 50% of all companies currently in the program.

If the Safe Harbor framework were suspended, EU citizens whose HR data is stored or handled in the US would be heavily burdened.  US companies who hire EU citizens would need to revert to model contracts, which are strict and expensive to implement (particularly for small businesses).  Inhibiting the flow of HR data between the US and EU could mean delays for EU citizens receiving their paychecks, or a decline in global hiring by US companies.

FPF urges the LIBE committee to consider our recommendations to improve the Safe Harbor framework rather than create additional burdens and expense for companies that employ EU residents.  These recommendations, which include Chris Connolly’s suggestion of appointing a “Safe Harbor Master,” adequately address EU concerns about user privacy while allowing US and EU businesses to continue growing.

Leave a Reply


Privacy Calendar

Sep
30
Tue
Getting Proactive with COPPA Web...
Getting Proactive with COPPA Web...
Sep 30 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Saira Nayak, TUNE’s Chief Privacy Officer, gives a review of recent FTC decisions finding app developers out of compliance with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) and helps you understand how you can proactively protect[...]
Oct
7
Tue
Measuring Student Engagement in ...
Measuring Student Engagement in ...
Oct 7 @ 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Technology has brought promising advances to the classroom and it is here to stay. But how can you be sure that using electronic devices and implementing blended learning programs is going to help your students[...]
Oct
11
Sat
City by Numbers: Big Data and th... @ Pratt Institute
City by Numbers: Big Data and th... @ Pratt Institute
Oct 11 @ 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
Big Data—the exponential growth and availability of information—is one of the defining phenomena of our time. It affects us all on different levels – with far-reaching social, environmental, and governmental significance. To help make sense[...]
Oct
21
Tue
Consumer Action’s 43rd Annual Aw... @ Google
Consumer Action’s 43rd Annual Aw... @ Google
Oct 21 @ 6:00 pm – Oct 21 @ 8:00 pm
To mark its 43rd anniversary, Consumer Action’s Annual Awards Reception on October 21, 2014, will celebrate the theme of “Train the Trainer.” Through the power of individual and small group trainings, Consumer Action each year is[...]
Oct
29
Wed
Big Data and Privacy: Navigating... @ Schulze Hall
Big Data and Privacy: Navigating... @ Schulze Hall
Oct 29 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The rapid emergence of “big data” has created many benefits and risks for businesses today. As data is collected, stored, analyzed, and deployed for various business purposes, it is particularly important to develop responsible data[...]
Jan
28
Wed
all-day Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day
Jan 28 all-day
“Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008, as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. The Day commemorates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first[...]

View Calendar