thoughts and observations of a privacy, security and internet researcher, activist, and policy advisor

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reding asks the "Kissinger question" on Data Protection Agreement with US

The preparations for a comprehensive data protection framework agreement between the EU and the US for cases where personal data is exchanged in the context of criminal law enforcement have been finalized - in Brussels. The Council of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers approved the negotiation guidelines for the Commission on 3rd December.

The US government, unfortunately, is reluctant to move forward. They seem to prefer to agree on the new Passenger Name Records (PNR) deal quickly and postpone the data protection framework - which would cover PNR, TFTP/SWIFT bank data, as well as other data exchanged between the EU and the US.

Now, Viviane Reding came up with one of her unique quotes again:
European Justice and Fundamental Rights Commissioner Viviane Reding criticised the US for having shown little interest in negotiating with the EU a deal to protect the private data of European citizens during terrorism probes.

In what appears as a remake of the so-called "Kissinger question" ('what is the EU's telephone number'?), Reding lamented that Washington had not yet appointed a negotiator for the data protection agreement.

"I certainly can wait for a few days. But I expect to be given the telephone number of the US chief negotiator before the end of the year and seriously start the talks," she said, cited by AFP. [emphasis added]

The Guardian has more info on Reding's recent trip to Washington.

I am collecting all publicly available documents on the data protection agreement here.

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