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Europe and US edge closer to data protection deal

Loek Essers | June 26, 2014
The umbrella data protection agreement has been under negotiation for more than three years.

There are however more hurdles besides equality in judicial redress. The EU also seeks to ensure that data is only transferred for specified law enforcement purposes, and then processed in a way compatible with these purposes. Data of a victim of human trafficking for instance should not be dealt with in the same way as the data of a suspect of human trafficking.

In parallel, negotiations with the U.S. are ongoing to make the "safe harbor" agreement safer. The safe harbor framework gives U.S. companies the ability to process personal data from E.U. citizens while providing data protection as strong as required by EU legislation.

In November last year, the Commission proposed 13 changes to the agreement to the U.S. authorities.

While substantial progress has been made, the U.S. has not yet proposed any solutions to one key proposal that aims to limit access to safe harbor data for national security purposes, according to the Commission. This key issue will need to be addressed before the safe harbor framework can be given a clean bill of health, the Commission said.

 

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