January 19, 2016

WASHINGTON – The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the global voice of the tech sector, released a letter today addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama, European Union (EU) Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President H.E. Donald Tusk, and the heads of government of the 28 EU Member states—including German Chancellor Angele Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and French President François Hollande—asking the respective national leaders to engage their efforts to help conclude a new Safe Harbor agreement governing data transfers between the U.S. and EU.

The letter from ITI, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Europe, and Digital Europe, warns the leaders about serious economic impacts that could happen to the U.S. and Europe without a new agreement by the end of the month.

The prospect of not reaching a new Safe Harbor agreement “…has raised enormous uncertainty that seriously undermines the ability of U.S. and EU companies and individuals to conduct business across the Atlantic,” the groups say in the letter. “It is against this backdrop that we respectfully request your leadership to both support the efforts to negotiate a strengthened Safe Harbor agreement and to help establish a long-term, sustainable framework for data flows between Europe and United States.”

Negotiations have been underway to reach a new Safe Harbor framework before a January 31, 2016, deadline set by EU Member State Data Protection Authorities. Last year the EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”), int he case of Schrems vs. Data Protection Commissioner invalidated the EU decision that provided the legal basis within Europe for the Safe Harbor Framework.

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Public Policy Tags: Trade & Investment, Forced Localization, Data & Privacy