back to article EU-US safe harbour talks are lingering just outside port, says US

In a visit to Brussels this week, US Under Secretary Catherine Novelli told reporters that an agreement on a revised Safe Harbor framework was just weeks away. But the European Commissioner responsible for data protection, Vera Jourova, said there were still obstacles to be overcome. The Safe Harbor agreement is a legally …

  1. JimmyPage


    this story appears next to the HMRC/Google story

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting

      Err.. Eu vs Airstrip One.

  2. Afernie

    Just a few revisions...

    "You know that 'Safe Harbour' you have? The NSA asked us to ask if you'd mind if they mined it."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just a few revisions...

      well mining it may be a bit far as it is "safe Harbour" but im sure we can arrange for the NSA to have fishing access. :-(

      1. Afernie

        Re: Just a few revisions...

        Indiscriminate trawling always was their speciality...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "getting judicial redress rights for European citizens equivalent to those enjoyed by Americans"

    You mean : none at all ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "getting judicial redress rights for European citizens equivalent to those enjoyed by Americans"

      It seems to me that it is in the US Government's interest to spin these negotiations out as long as possible.

      They are perfectly happy with the current arrangement where they can do whatever they like. Without any real prospect of the European Commission switching Safe Harbor off, I expect agreement on a revised Safe Harbor framework will continue to be "just weeks away" for many more years.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Definitely not worth the paper it's printed on. It's basically a blanket exemption for US companies acting "in good faith". If there's a genuine effort to add teeth, it's only to cement the market position of Google and Facebook.

  5. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge


    That it is "Safe" as in "Hatton Garden Deposit Box".

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pointless exercise

    First of all, as long as the work "voluntary" appears anywhere in this agreement it's not even worth the paper it isn't written on. Secondly, as long as the only impact on a US organisation breaking the rules is a slap on the wrist with a feather in monetary terms I wouldn't put much store in it either.

    Last but not least: Safe Harbor does not fix the huge mess of laws they have in the US for accessing anything they pretty much like without much of (a) a barrier and (b) accountability for the consequences, so Safe Harbor II or not, I would avoid companies that host their data there.

    If I was in the EU commission I'd make it at least mandatory that companies were obliged to mention that they host data in the US, now it's sort of vaguely implied somewhere in the small print in words like "we may host data outside the EU" (if you see that, read it as "we will export your data to wherever it is cheapest, damn the consequences because you agreed to it"). Personally, that should become part of a mandatory explicit opt-in, just as permission to use personal data is not permitted to be implied. That way, a customer can make an informed choice.

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