Safe Harbour

On 29 November 2013 the Commission published two Communications regarding data flows between Europe and the United States. The Committee decided to conduct enhanced scrutiny on the issue, and conducted public evidence sessions in March and April 2014. The Committee wrote to the Government on 7 May 2014.

Safe Harbour is the name given to the framework developed by the US Department of Commerce and the European Commission that allows the differences in EU and US approaches to their respective citizen’s privacy to be bridged, and enables US organisations to comply with the EU Directive on Data Protection.

In the wake of revelations concerning large-scale US intelligence collection programmes had been abused, including allegations that the United States had been eavesdropping on the private phone calls of world leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Communication focuses on rebuilding trust in EU-US data flows.