- After months of negotiating a new data-transfer deal, American and European officials failed to reach an agreement by the Jan. 31 deadline.
- In October, the European Union's highest court ruled the 15-year-old Safe Harbour agreement invalid because it did not offer European residents adequate privacy protection.
- Now officials are trying to reach a broader deal before European regulators take action Wednesday, according to a New York Times report.
Despite U.S. concessions and last-minute negotiations, American and European officials failed to agree on how data could be transferred across the Atlantic. Negotiators are struggling to agree on measures to protect Europeans' data from U.S. government surveillance and how Europeans can seek "legal remedies" in U.S. courts, according to the New York Times.
If a new ruling is not reached soon, it could impact thousands of businesses and millions of users that transfer data between Europe and the U.S. Some companies transfer customer or employee data while others move data to better tailor advertising. Without a deal, companies that regularly transfer data — like Google, IBM and Facebook — could face legal trouble.
U.S. SMBs are concerned that a change to rules governing transatlantic personal data transfers may hurt them, either locking them out of the market or replacing them with EU-based competitors.