The European Commission has published Communications on Rebuilding Trust in EU-US Data Flows and on the Functioning of Safe Harbor. The Communications were released as a result of deepening concerns following the allegations of widespread access by U.S. intelligence agencies to personal data.
The European Commission has called for action in six areas, including:-
- Adoption of the EU’s draft Data Protection Regulation by Spring 2013;
- Improvement of the functioning of the Safe Harbour scheme (which provides a legal basis for the transfers of personal data from the EU to companies in the U.S. for commercial purposes);
- Swift conclusion of the current negotiations on the "umbrella agreement" for transfers and processing of data in the context of police and judicial co-operation;
- Use by the U.S. administration of the existing Mutual Legal Assistance and Sectoral agreements, whenever transfers of data are required for law enforcement purposes;
- Extension of the legal safeguards available to U.S. citizens to EU citizens, not resident in the U.S; and
- Accession by the U.S. to the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (as it acceded to the 2001 Convention on Cybercrime).