Congress Weighs in on Safe Harbor

Share |

When the European Court of Justice (ECJ) invalidated the U.S. – EU Safe Harbor Framework last week, SIIA released a press statement calling for a managed transition and a rapid completion of negotiations on a new, modernized Safe Harbor as the ruling was a blow to transatlantic data flows.  Additionally, at a joint panel event between SIIA and DIGITALEUROPE in Geneva last week, panelists discussed outcomes, concerns, and next steps over the ruling. SIIA welcomes the bi-partisan and bi-cameral intervention by the leaders of the House and Senate Commerce Committees.  Their letter urges the Secretary of Commerce and the Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission to ease concerns from the business community on the legal uncertainty created by the ECJ decision:

“The ECJ decision makes urgent the need to redouble your efforts and conclude a successor to the now-invalidated Safe Harbor Agreement.  The announcement of a revised framework will represent an important step in clarifying misinformation and providing marketplace stability.  Finally, we encourage you to work closely with your European counterparts to issue guidance for businesses that have relied upon the Safe Harbor. It is imperative that these businesses are able to continue operating in the absence of the Safe Harbor.”

There is no lack of urgency and focus on the part of the Administration and the FTC, but this Congressional statement of support for their efforts demonstrates that the U.S. Government is united in seeking a way forward to allow the continued flow of data and trade across the Atlantic.

Mark Mark MacCarthy, Senior Vice President, Public Policy at SIIA, directs SIIA’s public policy initiatives in the areas of intellectual property enforcement, information privacy, cybersecurity, cloud computing and the promotion of educational technology. Follow Mark on Twitter at @Mark_MacCarthy.