*EC to Proceed With Safe Harbor

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The European Commission said yesterday that it will go ahead with its "safe harbor" decision, despite a European Parliament resolution that asked the EC to reopen talks with the United States over the privacy issue.


The decision was made after Frits Bolkestein, EC commissioner in charge of the internal market that includes data protection, yesterday met with the Citizen Rights Committee of the Parliament.


The European Union's data protection directive bars data transfer from the EU to outside countries without adequate privacy protection. Because the United States does not have a privacy law, the safe harbor agreements took two years to complete. The agreement commits companies that agree to abide by safe harbor to adhere to seven principles designed to protect private data from misuse. Violators would face regulatory action.


Parliament made clear it was not happy with the current draft of the agreement and suggested several changes. However, a spokeswoman said the EC "will comply, where possible, with the European Parliament's wishes."

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