European FlagThe European Parliament will vote on March 12 whether to suspend the EU-US “Safe Harbor Framework.”    The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committee recently backed a report that calls for the “immediate suspension” of the EU-US Safe Harbor Framework.

Currently, data protection laws in the EU prevent organizations from sending personal data outside of the European Economic Area unless “adequate protections” have been put in place or in circumstances where the destination country has been pre-approved as having adequate data protection.  The US is not deemed to provide adequate protection, so the European Commission and the US Department of Commerce negotiated the Safe Harbor Framework to facilitate personal data transfers between organizations in the EU and US.

The European Commission has now said that it wants to pursue a “role as honest broker in future global negotiations on internet governance”.  A global summit in Brazil is planned in April to draft a roadmap for internet governance principles.  Post-Snowden, the US may be forced to relinquish powers to the EU in order for the Commission to agree to be the go-between in negotiations with the rest of the world.

The EU has been working on developing internet governance regulations for some time. The European Cloud Partnership was set up in 2012 to develop a digital single market for cloud computing in Europe. So far, it has put forward several proposals for the regulation of cloud-computing; including the harmonization of member states’ national laws regarding location of data, standard model contracts for providers to make legal rights and obligations clear, and the certifying of cloud providers.

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Source:   Outsell Inc. and BIIA Regulatory News