European Harmonization of Data Protection Laws Threatens U.S. Participation in Trans Border Data Flow

Trubow, George B. | January 1, 1992

We are in the midst of “Europe ’92,” the year when the European Community (EC) is to take on new shape and substance as it seeks transformation to economic and political strategies intended to enhance its position in international trade and commerce. With respect to matters of information processing and transborder data flow, the Council of Europe has prepared a draft directive concerning privacy and security regarding personal information (Privacy Directive). That draft, under consideration by the member states, is of great importance to the rest of the world since it contemplates that EC members will not exchange information with nations that do not comply with the directive’s protocols. The United States would be in a precarious position were our business communities to be excluded from personal information exchange with European nations because our processing of such information fails to meet the EC privacy tests.