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.
Brussels and Washington are locked in negotiations to forge a new framework enabling data transfers from Europe to the United States, which are otherwise subject to cumbersome and lengthy legal processes under EU data protection law.
The previous pact, known as Safe Harbour and used by over 4,000 U.S. and European companies, was declared invalid by the European Court of Justice in October because U.S. national security needs trumped the privacy of Europeans’ data.
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.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was responsible for monitoring companies’ compliance with the Safe Harbour privacy principles, although it does not deal with complaints from individuals.
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