February 02, 2016

WASHINGTON & BRUSSELS – The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), BSA | The Software Alliance, and DIGITALEUROPE released the following statement today regarding the conclusion of negotiations between the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce on a strengthened mechanism for transatlantic data transfers called the EU-US Privacy Shield:

“Today’s economy is online and it runs on data, and so the biggest winners here are the EU and U.S. economies,” said ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield. “We congratulate European and American negotiators for their efforts to work through these complex issues and reach an agreement that is essential to innovation, job creation, and economic growth. Once fully enacted, this agreement will provide a basis for companies to reliably move data across the Atlantic, while upholding citizens’ fundamental rights to privacy and data protection.”

“We, Europe and the United States, are in this together, and are encouraged by this achievement that will promote a stable and secure environment,” said Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “We and our member companies stand ready to work with data protection authorities and all interested stakeholders to determine ways to ensure a smooth transition to this much-needed new framework.”

“We applaud the work of the European and US negotiators over recent months,” said John Higgins, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE. “We believe that this new framework agreement will re-establish a sustainable path for data transfers between the EU and US while safeguarding data privacy and bringing legal clarity to businesses. We call on Europe’s data protection authorities to continue to honour the use of other transfer mechanisms until this new agreement has been assessed fully.”

Cross-border data flows play a critical role in the modern economy, including the half-trillion dollar transatlantic trade relationship, which has grown since the Safe Harbor Framework was agreed upon in 2000. In October 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union effectively invalidated the Safe Harbor Framework, requiring EU and U.S. negotiators to meet a January 31, 2016 deadline set by European regulators to reach a new transatlantic data transfer agreement.

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Public Policy Tags: Forced Localization, Data & Privacy, Trade & Market Access
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