Reding says that US Safe Harbor changes nearly agreed

Following suggestions made by the EU Commission last summer, the EU and the US are about to agree on how the Safe Harbor framework will be revised.

Viviane Reding, EU Vice President and Commissioner for Justice, said on 6 June: “I think that 95% of what could be agreed - has been. There are the last sticking 5%, which are not yet agreed, which concern the judicial redress. For example, when Americans come to Europe and they think the authorities have not handled their case correctly, they can go to a European court. However an EU citizen cannot do the same in the US and go to an American court. There is no reciprocity; we do not have the basis for judicial redress. You cannot make an agreement if you do not have judicial redress. The US has recognised the importance of this request on several occasions - but they need to have a law."

Reding will meet Eric Holder, US Attorney General, on 25 June to discuss this point. She indicated that once this question has been solved, all the 13 points made by the EU Commission last year will have been addressed in a positive way.

PL&B’s 27th Annual International Conference, New Horizons – New Risks, will include on 1 July a presentation on US Safe Harbor and other aspects of international transfers of personal data. Speakers include Christopher Hoff, Administrator – US and EU & EU-Swiss Safe harbour Frameworks, Department of Commerce, US; Lilian Mitrou, Associate Professor, Greece, and Chair of the DAPIX Council of Justice Ministers Committee under the current Greek Presidency; Thomas Zerdick, Head, Data Protection Reform, European Commission; Peter Hustinx, EDPS; and Geraldine Dersley, Lead Solicitor, UK Information Commissioner’s Office. There will be a separate session covering the UK’s and France’s Binding Corporate Rules (BCR) process and the EU BCR and APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules compatibility programme with Geraldine Dersley and Myriam Gufflet, BCR Division Manager, the CNIL, France.