Lords quiz Civil Liberties Minister on EU/US data protection issues

07 April 2014

In the final evidence session of its enhanced scrutiny of safe harbour, the House of Lords Home Affairs, Health and Education EU Sub-Committee will question the Rt. Hon. Simon Hughes MP, Justice and Civil Liberties Minister at the Ministry of Justice.

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. The current Communication focuses on rebuilding trust in EU-US data flows.

Having previously heard from data protection and privacy experts, the Committee will raise many of the issues that have previously been discussed with the Minister.

Questions Mr Hughes is likely to face include:

  • Should the current safe harbour Agreement be suspended as the European Parliament has called for?
  • What do you consider to be the key strengths and weaknesses of the present Safe Harbour Agreement?
  • Do EU citizens’ redress rights need to be bolstered further than the Commission currently proposes?
  • Is self-regulation the most appropriate model, and what action should be taken to ensure compliance?
  • How will the outcome of the negotiations with the US be taken forward?

The evidence session will take place on Wednesday 9 April at 11am in Committee Room 3.

The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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