For Immediate Release
Contact: Monica Hill, 202-482-3809
Monday, July, 31, 2000 202-482-3809
European Commission Issues
Safe Harbor Privacy Arrangement
Washington, D.C.--The Department of Commerce last
week welcomed the issuance by the European Commission of its formal
opinion that the Safe Harbor privacy arrangement provides "adequate"
privacy protection for EU personal data. This decision by the Commission
now paves the way for implementation of the safe harbor arrangement.
The arrangement will enable U.S. organizations complying with the
safe harbor framework to continue to receive personal data from
Europe that they need for their business operations. The action
taken by the Commission is the result of more than two years of
discussion between the United States and the European Commission
to find a way to bridge the differences between EU and U.S. approaches
to privacy protection and ensure that trans Atlantic data flows
are not interrupted.
Prior to the Commission's decision, the Department of Commerce
issued on July 28 the final set of Safe Harbor Privacy Principles
and related documents. These documents are posted on the Department
of Commerce's website at trade.gov/ecom and are published
in the Federal Register.
Due to EU Member State notification requirements, the safe harbor
will first become operational in early November. In the interim,
the Department of Commerce will be developing procedures for companies
wishing to self certify to the safe harbor. We will provide information
on this and other implementation issues in the coming months.