European and US negotiators have missed a deadline to agree a key data transfer pact, the European Union’s executive said.
The talks appear to be deadlocked over a policing and options for European citizens to seek redress over data privacy violations.
The EU is still hopeful that a deal could be clinched in coming days, but they have to be quicker as national data protection regulators from across Europe are poised to begin meetings on Tuesday to start restricting trans-Atlantic flows of personal data.
European Union data protection law bars companies from transferring EU citizens’ personal data to countries outside the bloc deemed to have insufficient privacy safeguards — like the United States.
Firms such as Facebook and Google rely on transferring and analysing reams of user data to sell targeted advertising, for example.
While US businesses are worried about not having a deal in place, the US government is more worried about it stopping its agents from snooping on criminals and terrorist who have their data stored on the mainland and the fact that they would like to have a look at all this euro data which is sitting in US territory.
A US industry source said a deal is “on the table” with what the United States feels is the strongest offer yet, but that Europe apparently still wants to see more.
What the US does not appear to grasp is that it will be Google, Microsoft and Amazon which suffers from them refusing to see sense. EU local cloud providers are praying that they don’t because local businesses will be forced to use them instead.
The US side proposed improving oversight of the new data transfer framework by creating an ombudsman to review decisions, but is rather keen for it to be a toothless wonder.
The European Commission wants the ombudsman to have the authority to make findings on US surveillance as opposed to just fielding complaints from European citizens and data protection authorities.