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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Amy Worlton Weighs In on U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Negotiations 

Communications Daily
November 12, 2015

Amy Worlton, a partner in the International Trade, Cybersecurity, Data, & Network Security, and Privacy practices, was quoted in a Communications Daily article, discussing what it would take to reach a new safe harbor deal on data transfers between the U.S. and EU. According to the article, a topic of debate is whether Europeans should receive the same protection and redress rights as U.S. citizens, and according to a European Commission (EC) official the Judicial Redress Act (HR-1428) could address this.

Ms. Worlton said she expects negotiations are focusing on how to provide European citizens with the right to challenge access to their personal data for U.S. law enforcement and national security purposes. “Legislation like HR-1428 might be helpful and it might be just enough. On its face, it’s not a complete solution,” she added.

Ms. Worlton also pointed out that U.S. law enforcement or national security agencies may have the legal authority to collect a European citizen’s personal information located in the U.S., by, for example, compelling a U.S. company to disclose data in its possession. She said a key challenge for negotiators is to reconcile the European Court of Justice concerns about surveillance within a U.S. legal framework that authorizes surveillance in many cases. To protect transatlantic data transfers that are economically critical, negotiators will have to “thread this needle,” she said.