U.S. takes steps to enforce ‘Safe Harbour Agreement’

On 21st January 2014 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with 12 companies that allegedly falsely claimed to comply with the “Safe Harbour” privacy protection framework. Among those companies are Level 3 Communications, LLC (one of the six largest ISPs in the world), BitTorrent, Inc. (provider of a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol) and DataMotion, Inc. (provider of a platform for encrypted email and secure file transport).

The settlement consists of draft consent agreements which are now subject to public comment for 30 days (until 20th February 2014), after which the FTC will decide whether to make the proposed consent orders, which are part of the agreements, final. For the Web links to send comments in electronic form, click here.

Under the “Safe Harbour” Agreement between Europe and the U.S., U.S. organisations respecting the U.S. standards for privacy protection are deemed to meet the EU “adequacy” standard and consequently nothing stands in the way of personal data transfers between the EU and the U.S.

See also:

EU-U.S. exchanges of personal data: “Lack of transparency and enforcement on the U.S. side”

Future of the “safe harbor” arrangement for personal data transfers to the U.S.

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