In an August 13 letter to Commissioner Viviane Reding, Article 29 Working Party Chair Jacob Kohnstamm requested more information regarding the United States’ national security surveillance program, including the widely-publicized PRISM program.
Despite rumors of delay, the formal announcement of a proposed comprehensive reform of the data protection framework in the European Union is now set for this Wednesday, January 25 at 12:30 CET (6:30 AM EST). This blog entry contains a link to the videostream of the announcement, as well as a synopsis and link to a video of a speech on Saturday by EU Justice Vice-President Viviene Reding. The Commission’s Data Privacy Day video on personal responsibility to protect privacy also is linked to.
An announcement came this week from EC Digital Agenda VP Neelie Kroes of an EU Cloud Strategy (described in this blog entry), for which the former US CIO Vivek Kundra will be an advisor, and it once again raises questions about the application of the EU Directive in the cloud. This is an issue that will be explored through a Moot Court problem at IAPP’s Navigate in Dallas on September 14, also described and shared in this entry.
A recent California ruling ordering Twitter to unmask an anonymous critic of a UK local government council raises the question of whether foreign privacy law will be applied in the US. In this case, the ruling deprived someone of privacy (the anonymous online critic), but the outcome seeks to suggest that a US company may be subject to foreign privacy law, even if it conflicts with First Amendment principles. This would give force to EU Justice Minister Reding’s announced privacy pillar of “protection regardless of the data location.”
Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship announced this week that she has begun exploratory talks with the United States for a comprehensive EU-US agreement for personal data protection standards to apply whenever personal data needs to be transferred across the Atlantic for the purposes of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. This blog entry explores that development and describes a related conversation the author had with Ms. Reding on the need for reappraisal by the EU of whether the US has “adequate protections” for the cross-border transfer of personal data.