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Contact: Morrie Goodman, 202-482-4883 or
Pat Kirwan/Curt Cultice, 202-482-3809

January 4, 2000   

Taking Care of E-Business: Commerce Secretary Mineta Announces
Seminars to Help Tap Opportunities Under Safe Harbor 

Washington--Secretary of Commerce Norman Y. Mineta is taking a further step towards maximizing the full potential of transatlantic e-commerce trade by announcing a series of nationwide seminars to educate U.S. organizations on the safe harbor privacy framework. 

"It is important for U.S. organizations that deal with European countries to understand and develop a strategy for working with European privacy laws," Mineta stated today. "The safe harbor arrangement provides a bridge between the U.S. and Europeans approaches to privacy protection and is a cost effective way for U.S. organizations to comply with European privacy laws." 

The domestic seminar series will be co-sponsored by the Software & Information Industry Association, the United States Council for International Business, and Morrison and Foerster. 

At the seminars, private sector and U.S. Government experts will talk about how companies should develop privacy policies, how the safe harbor framework fits within those policies, and how companies can sign on to the safe harbor. 

The first seminar is scheduled for January 25 in Palo Alto, followed by seminars on February 7 in New York and on February 14 in Dallas. The Department is also working with the National Association of Manufacturers and the European-America Business Council to hold additional events. 

The safe harbor framework was developed by the Department of Commerce, in consultation with the European Commission, industry and non-governmental organizations, in order to provide U.S. organizations with a practical means of satisfying the "adequacy" requirement under the European Directive on Data Protection. 

The safe harbor was officially recognized by the EU this past summer as a basis of protecting European citizens' privacy. Organizations interested in finding out more can go to the safe harbor website at www.export.gov/safeharbor




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