(credit: Andree Stephan)
Safe Harbour 2.0, currently being drawn up by the EU and US authorities, “will not provide a viable framework for future transfers of personal information” across the Atlantic according to a group of human rights and privacy organisations. In a letter sent to the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, and to the US Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, the 20 EU and 14 US NGOs instead urge the politicians “to commit to a comprehensive modernization of privacy and data protection laws on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Time is running out to come up with a replacement for the original Safe Harbour framework, which was effectively struck down by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in October. The important Article 29 Working Party, composed of representatives from the national data protection authorities in EU countries, warned that they would not wait for long before acting on the CJEU decision: “If by the end of January 2016, no appropriate solution is found with the US authorities and depending on the assessment of the transfer tools by the Working Party, EU data protection authorities are committed to take all necessary and appropriate actions, which may include coordinated enforcement actions.”
Moreover, as Ars reported a few weeks ago, German data protection authorities have already started investigating data transfers from the EU to the US by companies such as Facebook and Google, and may proceed to issuing orders for those data flows to be halted.
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