US and Europe agree data protection principles

The agreement, reached during a U.S.-EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial meeting in Washington, formalised recommendations made in May, as a result of talks between the two regions.

Measures agreed included the prevention of undue impact on third party countries. The EU and US would endeavour to prevent putting undue pressure on third party countries during investigations due to differences in their data privacy stances, said the recommendations. They also called for avoiding adverse impact on private entities as a result of data transfers. Specific data sharing agreements designed to protect the privacy of individuals will also be necessary when US and EU laws conflict.

The US and the EU still need to work together on a common approach to dealing with complaints about privacy breaches, according to a blog post on the Department of Homeland Security-sponsored Homeland Security Leadership Journal. They must also collaborate on reciprocity, ensuring that one region doesn't impose different data protection standards on its partner than it does on itself.

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