EU and US find some common ground for their DP aims

There are common principles at the heart of both systems, says a joint statement issued at a high level EU Conference on ‘Privacy and Protection of Personal Data’, held on 19 March. The statement, issued by EU Commission’s Vice-President Viviane Reding and US Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, declares that stakeholders in the US are very interested in the on-going data protection reform in the European Union – notably in the proposal for a "one-stop-shop" and a consistent regulatory level playing field across all EU Member States. As highlighted by the US Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, the US is committed to engaging with the European Union and other international partners to increase interoperability in privacy laws and regulations, and to enhance enforcement cooperation.

The US and the EU reaffirmed their respective commitments to the Safe Harbor Framework. It is a useful starting point for further interoperability, the parties said.

During the meeting, the European Union Data Protection Supervisor, Peter Hustinx, said that if the Obama paper is delivered in practice, it would provide sufficient protection for individuals. However, he emphasised that principles alone do not produce results. A common implementation mechanism is needed, as well as common enforcement.

See the full statement.