Date
24 March 2017
The European Union bars companies from transferring citizens' personal data to non-EU countries deemed to have insufficient privacy safeguards such as the United States. Photo Internet
The European Union bars companies from transferring citizens' personal data to non-EU countries deemed to have insufficient privacy safeguards such as the United States. Photo Internet

Transatlantic data deal stumbles but talks continue

A highly awaited data transfer agreement between the United States and Europe fell through after negotiators stumbled over a new oversight model and options for European citizens to seek redress for privacy violations.

Talks are continuing and a deal could still be clinched in coming days, Reuters reports.

European regulators are scheduled to begin meetings on Tuesday to start restricting transatlantic flows of personal data.

“There have been constructive but difficult talks over the weekend,” a spokesman for the European Commission said.

“Work is still ongoing, we are not there yet, but the Commission is working day and night on achieving a deal.”

The European Union bars companies from transferring citizens’ personal data to non-EU countries deemed to have insufficient privacy safeguards such as the United States.

Cross-border transfers are used in many industries for sharing employee information or when consumer data is shared to complete credit card, travel or e-commerce transactions.

Firms such as Facebook and Google rely on transferring and analyzing reams of user data to sell targeted advertising, for example.

US officials and American executives have grown increasingly worried about the consequences of not having a new deal in place despite a flurry of high-level talks in Brussels over the past few weeks.

Some US industry representatives, believing they had exhausted their case, flew home this weekend after bringing their pitch directly to regulators across Europe.

A US industry source said a deal is “on the table” with what the US feels is the strongest offer yet, but that Europe apparently still wants to see more.

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RC/RA

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