Safe Harbor Rules Not a Precedent for U.S. Law, Under Secretary of Commerce Says

Under Secretary of Commerce David L. Aaron told attendees at the Information Technology Association of America’s annual IT Policy Summit yesterday that the safe harbor negotiations he is leading are intended to ensure the continued flow of data between the U.S. and Europe, not to set precedents for data handling in the United States.

“Safe harbor principles have been developed and are aimed at a specific situation-reassuring the Europeans that their privacy, according to their standards, would be protected in their transactions with American subscribers to the principles,” he said to the audience, which consisted of government relations professionals and corporate CEOs. “In no way does the U.S. Government intend for these safe harbor principles to be seen as precedents for any future changes in the U.S. privacy regime.”

The Under Secretary will meet today with John Mogg of the European Union to continue negotiations on data privacy.

“We are making progress and look forward to continuing our constructive dialogue,” he said.

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