Monday, June 30, 2008

U.S. and Europe Near Agreement on Private Data

From Saturday's NYT, something else in the almost hard to believe category- ie hard to believe that this is the same EU that less than a decade ago was on the verge of a trade war with the US over the latter's lack of appropriate protection for personal data but eventually compromised with the data safe harbor provisions - U.S. and Europe Near Agreement on Private Data

"The United States and the European Union are nearing completion of an agreement allowing law enforcement and security agencies to obtain private information — like credit card transactions, travel histories and Internet browsing habits — about people on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

The potential agreement, as outlined in an internal report obtained by The New York Times, would represent a diplomatic breakthrough for American counterterrorism officials, who have clashed with the European Union over demands for personal data. Europe generally has more stringent laws restricting how governments and businesses can collect and transfer such information.

Negotiators, who have been meeting since February 2007, have largely agreed on draft language for 12 major issues central to a “binding international agreement,” the report said. The pact would make clear that it is lawful for European governments and companies to transfer personal information to the United States, and vice versa."

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