EU wants to give national privacy regulators more clout in new U.S. data pact

Julia Fioretti, Reuters,  Monday, November 30, 2015

The European Union wants to enhance the power of the bloc's national privacy regulators in policing a planned new EU-U.S. data pact after the previous one was struck down by a top EU court on concerns about mass U.S. surveillance. To address the court's concerns, particularly that Europeans do not have legal channels to challenge misuse of their data, the Commission is looking for ways to involve European privacy watchdogs more deeply, according to three people familiar with the matter.

EU Data Transfer Mechanisms May Keep Tumbling

Stephen Dockery, Wall Street Journal,  Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Data transfer systems that companies have been relying on in the wake of the end of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor agreement are likely to be picked apart by the European Court of Justice for the same reasons the broad privacy agreement was tossed out, data privacy experts said Monday. Stewart Room, head of cyber security and data protection at PwC, said, “Right now these other solutions are still legally valid…the problem is they have the same parent and the same architecture and the same legal vulnerability” as Safe Harbor. Room said the “EU working party on the issue had already signaled that it was encouraging challenges to those mechanisms and was likely those solutions would be invalidated as well.”

'Hypocritical' Europe is just as bad as the USA for data protection

Andrew Orlowski, The Register,  Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Europe is being hypocritical by derailing the Safe Harbour data protection agreement - because its own protections for citizens against indiscriminate surveillance are worse than the USA’s. That’s the view of one expert on international data protection law at a meeting held by European competition group iComp today. Dr Ian Walden, Professor of Information and Communications Law at St Mary’s, said that US citizens had greater safeguards against fishing expeditions than European citizens, and European law enforcement opted for blanket surveillance far more readily than US law enforcement.

U.S.-E.U. safe harbor collapse affects all of us

Doug Miller by Doug Miller, Milltech Consulting
Saturday, November 21, 2015

Without the Safe Harbor framework, companies are faced with the almost insurmountable task of establishing data sharing agreements with individual regional jurisdictions. Without these agreements, a global company’s operations are now in question and they must think twice about investing abroad. Consumers, if not directly effected as employees of companies that curtailed trans-Atlantic operations, would be faced with the loss of the Internet as its known today, a means of global commerce, information and communication exchange. Without agreements in place to provide “borderless” transfers of data, there will be no trans-border mechanism for e-commerce, sending and receiving emails, or sharing personal information using social media. In other words, without Safe Harbor, the backbone of modern technology — information exchange — will be significantly hampered.

Paris Attacks Help Build Case for Stiffer U.K. Snooping Rules

Jeremy Kahn, Bloomberg Business,  Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The terrorist attacks in Paris may make it harder for the technology industry and privacy advocates to resist proposed rules that would require Web, software and phone companies to aid in wide-ranging U.K. surveillance efforts. "The attacks make it incredibly difficult to argue for individual privacy,” said Emily Taylor, an associate fellow at the London-based public policy think tank Chatham House. “That seems like a ridiculous thing to argue for when people are being mowed down on a night out."

Paris attacks inflame Europe’s privacy clash

David Meyer, Politico EU,  Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Before the bloody attacks in Paris, the European Union was already in the throes of a long and passionate debate over the balance between security and privacy. As the manhunt continues and authorities race for clues, that debate is raging at every political level. The outcome will have sweeping consequences for international cooperation between law enforcement and businesses, as well as on the fundamental right to privacy and data protection.

EU Justice leader pushes Hill on privacy bill

Kate Tummarello and Alex Byers, POLITICO,  Tuesday, November 17, 2015

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourová makes the rounds in Washington today, trying to sell lawmakers on an EU-focused privacy bill while continuing negotiations with Obama administration officials over the future of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor. The House has passed the Judicial Redress Act, which would extend new legal protections to EU citizens, but Grassley’s Senate committee hasn’t even debated it.

After Paris Attacks, Surveillance Remains A Key Issue In EU-U.S. Privacy Negotiations

Hamza Shaban, BuzzFeed,  Monday, November 16, 2015

The commissioner of justice for the European Union struck an optimistic tone Monday, outlining a way forward for negotiations between the EU and the United States over consumer privacy and the future of internet commerce. During a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Vera Jourová said a new agreement regulating the transatlantic flow of commercial data will be set by January next year. Though her remarks were conciliatory, in part to to ease the concerns of an American tech industry under increased European regulatory scrutiny, Jourová emphasized that disagreements over national security and data privacy stand as key points of contention between the two sides.

Should 'revolutionary' body-worn interview cameras be used in Hampshire?

Emily Ford, Daily Echo,  Saturday, November 14, 2015

A UK perspective on body-worn cameras. Police chiefs in Hampshire have proposed a move into the 21st century by updating their technology. As previously reported, officers across the county could be trailblazers for a “revolutionary” system using body-worn video (BMV) cameras to interview suspects at crime scenes. Hampshire’s chief constable Andy Marsh, who is also the national policing lead for body-worn video, said the change could lead to “cheaper justice”. The interview process is set to go on a trial period and it comes as police forces face reduced budgets in chancellor George Osborne’s upcoming spending review.

Microsoft's Creative Solution to Data Privacy

Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg View,  Friday, November 13, 2015

Now, Microsoft is the first to offer a solution to the problem U.S. companies face in Europe. And it's a good solution. Starting next year, the American company will offer cloud services to its European customers from two data centers that are based in Germany and run by a local "data trustee," Deutsche Telekom. This means Microsoft will not be able to access the data without permission from the clients and from Deutsche Telekom, which operates under Germany's tight data protection law.