Privacy Shield: a Good Deal for Transatlantic Digital Trade

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By Christopher A. Padilla
Vice President, IBM Government and Regulatory Affairs

At IBM, we are unambiguous about the value of cross border data flows to economies across the globe. If data cannot flow freely, 21st century commerce cannot happen.  Data flows allow efficient exports by small businesses, smooth international travel, speedy cross-border financial transfers, global access to personal on-line content and much, much more.

This week, European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip is meeting with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Privacy Shield, the E.U. – U.S. agreement on transatlantic data flows, is undoubtedly high on the agenda. Concluded just over a year ago, Privacy Shield enables data flows that play an inextricable role in the trillion-dollar trading relationship between Europe and the United States. More data moves between the U.S. and E.U. than anywhere else on Earth. Privacy Shield ensures that data continues to flow uninterrupted while providing essential protections for individual privacy. Over 1,700 companies have already self-certified under Privacy Shield, many of which are small and medium businesses, and several hundred registrations are still pending. IBM alone has self-certified over 140 services – one the largest portfolios of Privacy Shield-certified services from any one company.

We commend the E.U. – U.S. cooperation to date on Privacy Shield, and are encouraged by the wish on both sides to carry it forward. We welcome Secretary Ross’s recent pledge to build on Privacy Shield. With the first annual review of the agreement expected in the summer of 2017, we call upon the U.S. Government to preserve the commitments underpinning Privacy Shield. We stand ready to support Secretary Ross, Vice-President Ansip and European Commissioner Vera Jourova in setting the standard for pro-growth policies in the digital age.

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Media Contact:
Adam R. Pratt
Ph: (202) 551-9625
arpratt@us.ibm.com

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