- U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker says a new transatlantic data-sharing agreement with the EU is “within reach,” Reuters reported.
- The original Safe Harbour agreement -- used by thousands of companies to comply with EU privacy law -- was killed by the highest EU court earlier this month.
- Regulators said companies could face action from European privacy regulators if the two governments do not come up with a new system in three months.
The "Safe Harbour 2.0" agreement currently being negotiated would meet European concerns about the transfer of data to the United States, Pritzker said.
"A solution is within hand. We had an agreement prior to the court case. I think with modest refinements that are being negotiated we could have an agreement shortly. The solution ... is Safe Harbour 2.0, which is totally doable."
The original Safe Harbour was a fast-track process U.S. companies could use to comply with European data protection law. Many tech companies, including Google and IBM, have used it for 15 years to help them get around cumbersome checks to transfer data between offices in the two countries.
The case that led to the dismissal of the original Safe Harbour agreement stemmed from a complaint alleging Facebook helped the NSA harvest the private data of EU citizens. But Facebook and other U.S. tech companies maintain they have broken no laws.