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- From: Heiko Recktenwald <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 12:25:56 +0200 (CEST)
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Man soll ja auch die anderen hoeren:
US worries on EU privacy
By Peronet Despeignes in Washington
Published: March 8 2001 21:11GMT | Last Updated: March 8 2001 21:27GMT
PRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=US /EU flags" EINF?GENGRAFIK \d
A top US lawmaker involved in the development of US technology policy on
Thursday criticised the European Commission's data-privacy initiative as
a potential trade barrier.
In the latest eruption of tensions between the Commission and the US on
data privacy issues, Billy Tauzin, the chair of the House Committee on
Energy and Commerce, said the EU's privacy-enhancement efforts could lead
to "the imposition of one of the largest free trade barriers ever seen"
on e-commerce and called it a "direct reversal" of past efforts at global
The 1995 EU data-privacy directive restricts data transfer in the EU
directly involving any company based outside the EU which does not comply
with EC privacy rules. Such a restriction has yet to be imposed on any
major US company or website, but Mr Tauzin said it could lead to the
effective imposition of a "de-facto privacy standard on the world."
"It certainly provides for extraterritorial enforcement of EU principles
on Americans and American companies," he said.
In testimony to the committee on the issue, Stefano Rodota, an Italian
law professor and advisor to the EU Commission on data privacy,
acknowledged "difficulties that we have experienced in bridging the gap"
He said a safe harbour provision negotiated with the Clinton
administration that allows more flexibility, demonstrated the EU's good
faith in resolving differences. But few US companies have taken advantage
of it. The Bush administration has not yet formalised its position on the
"This is a critical issue for US businesses and Congress is finally
giving it the attention it deserves," said Rick Lane, an official with
the Chamber of Commerce.