posted Nov 02, 2000

Web Enters Privacy 'Safe Harbor'
Privacy from Companies
11/2/2000; 2:48:14 PM 'A kind of data-privacy wall has popped up on the Web, and like the world's better-known walls, it is geographical in nature.

'Safe Harbor, an international privacy agreement approved earlier this year, took effect Wednesday and marked the line between acceptable privacy practices in Europe and the United States.

'The program, the result of an agreement between the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission, governs the transatlantic flow of data -- both online and off. The agreement set up a framework for certifying companies collecting data under privacy protection standards that satisfy the stricter standards of the European directive.'

While I've criticized this for being too weak, it's worth pointing out this is the only situation I know of where the American privacy-invasion business didn't get absolutely everything they wanted.

In fact, in a way, that sets a bad precedent for them. I expect to see more news about this "Safe Harbor", centering around efforts to remove it, including articles from people claiming that Europe should just trust these companies, as that would be so much easier...


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