back to article Top US privacy bod: EU should STOP appeasing whiny consumers

A top US law enforcement commissioner has claimed European data protection authorities are too worried about helping consumers instead of robustly enforcing privacy laws. Speaking at CPDP2015 in Brussels, Julie Brill, privacy commissioner for the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defended the US approach to protecting privacy …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    JUST SAY NO!!

    1. FormerKowloonTonger
      Facepalm

      Say "NO!" to what, exactly?

  2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    "Negotiations ... have been going on for more than three years and ..."

    Well if the EU just banned US corporations for handling our data until a satisfactory agreement was in place, you can be damn sure it would not take 3 years!

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      The EU would say US companies can't do business here, and the US would say you can't fly to the US from the EU unless you give us every useless bit of information about each passenger.

      It's stalemate.

      1. Smooth Newt

        RE: Stalemate

        I think the US tourism and airline industries would complain rather loudly to their government if European tourists couldn't fly to the US anymore.

        1. SolidSquid

          Re: RE: Stalemate

          Considering how large a chunk of the aviation industry is American, I dare say they'd be objecting if people weren't allowed to fly to Europe just as much

        2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: RE: Stalemate

          "It's stalemate."

          More like a win-win if you ask me.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can’t just say 'it’s national security – go away',” he said.

    What? That's the way the UK as well as the US has worked for years. No wonder UKIP wants us out - good grief. Whats next? Teling us Baroness MLF wasn't democratically elected?

    1. wikkity

      Re: That's the way the UK as well as the US has worked for years

      UK != EU

      1. SolidSquid

        Re: That's the way the UK as well as the US has worked for years

        The point he's making is that the EU policy of protecting privacy is contradicted to the UK's policy of cooperation with US intelligence agencies. Pretty sure it's tongue in cheek too, since he's also joking about a Baroness being elected

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: You can’t just say 'it’s national security – go away',” he said.

      Who is this Baroness MILF?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: You can’t just say 'it’s national security – go away',” he said.

      "No wonder UKIP wants us out"

      And UKIP fanboys wonder why hardly anyone takes these purple tories seriously.

  4. William Donelson

    MUST appease whiny corporations instead.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Actually, we in the EU are proud of doing BOTH.

      Then both get subsidies from the taxes of each other.

  5. Dave Fox

    Privacy?

    On the subject of data protection and privacy, I wouldn't trust any US Government body or US corporation as far as I could throw it.

    However, in the interests of fairness, I wouldn't trust any EU or UK bodies either... ;)

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Privacy?

      "Julie Brill, privacy commissioner for the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defended the US approach to protecting privacy."

      That shouldn't have taken her long then. It seems that the US policy towards privacy is to have no policy. Oh, unless one of the mega-corporations say that they could make money and then there is a policy. To wit, give the mega-corps everything it asks for.

      Good to see a little counter-fire from Paul Nemitz but I'll suspend judgement until I see more than just words.

      1. Mark 65

        Re: Privacy?

        Having no privacy means they never fail in their duty.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    All this goes to prove that...

    ...the EU isn't fit for purpose either.

    " the European Parliament declared the Safe Harbour agreement unfit for purpose and called for it to be scrapped – but that decision rests with the European Commission."

    An unelected quango who can ignore the requirements of the elected parliament?

    What does that tell you, then?

    1. John 98

      What it proves (or at least tells you)

      Is that the British government, the chief advocate of an EU run by quango and smoke filled room (the Council of Ministers) has achieved its goal. Other denizens of the smoke filled room and quango have been known to point out the absurdity of the situation - news carefully suppressed in the UK in favour of rants about "remote and unaccountable Brussels" by the architects of said absurdity.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All this goes to prove that...

      The EC (or civil service of the EU) can't ignore the will of the elected MEPs. The MEPs can dissolve the commission if they're really pissed off with it. The Council of Ministers can also bring pressure to bear and I suspect this is where the lack of action is coming from.

    3. Andrew Meredith

      Re: All this goes to prove that...

      >>the European Commission."

      An unelected quango who can ignore the requirements of the elected parliament?

      What does that tell you, then?<<

      It tells me that UKIP have a most excellent point. This socialist experiment called EU has failed and it has failed because its structure was fundamentally broken from the get go.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Pint

    Appeasement? Munich! MUNICH!!!!

    “A great data protection law is no good if you don’t enforce it.”

    Yeah, well, Team Amerrica should know.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Appeasement? Munich! MUNICH!!!!

      The problem is, the US and Europe understand different things, when it comes to data protection.

      The EU protect the consumer and their data, ensuring it can't be shared willi nilli and ensuring they have rights to see the data and have it corrected or deleted if it is erroneous.

      The USA protect corporations right to data...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Top US Privacy bod

    "Top US privacy bod: EU should STOP appeasing whiny consumers"

    EU countries say US 'privacy' bod should resign because he is inept on an epic scale.

    “A great data protection law is no good if you don’t enforce it.”

    When the USA's idea of privacy is to collect it all, pokemon style, and hand it all to the NSA in a handbasket. No thanks.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The US even _has_ a privacy commissioner?

    Could have fooled me.

  10. FormerKowloonTonger
    Meh

    Security Bickering Is Lethal.

    Our mutual problem here is that our mutual enemy, our Muslim terrorists within our midst, are out to slit our throats, literally, not simply "moderately".

    They're using our Internet to plan and organize this butchery.

    Shouldn't the Internet be mutually monitored closely to see just who is communicating with whom, exactly what they're saying in their languages, and just where they are?

    My complaints that my pictures of my record shattering penis and testicles will be observed by the GHCQ and posted all over their monitors everywhere are "private" are just silly once I've clicked "Send". Even if they're encrypted.

    Nothing on the encrypted/unencrypted Internet should be out of reach of those seeking messages between Muslim terrorists during this time of open War.

    We must decide on blanket observation/monitoring between all countries, or none at all.

    There simply is no partial solution to finding Muslim terrorists. It's either/or.

    So, we must recognize that our mutual Wartime/warlike Muslim enemy has altered our conventional wisdom on Internet communications without asking our permission.

    Our mutual Muslim enemies are using us; and using our bickering among ourselves to their advantage.

    First, though, we must all agree that we're literally at War with these Muslims.

    Don't they remind us of this on a daily basis?

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Security Bickering Is Lethal.

      You seem to be forgetting the most important part of this, if we monitor everything and limit our freedoms, even on the Internet, then the terrorists have already won.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Security Bickering Is Lethal.

      "Our mutual problem here is that our mutual enemy, our Muslim terrorists within our midst, are out to slit our throats, literally, not simply "moderately". "

      Which is why we should bring back the death penalty in the form of hanging the saw; painful torture maybe, but it will set an example not to mess with the British and their way of life.

      Some will say it's backwards for society to do this, but then again, that's exactly what they're doing!

  11. Senshi
    Facepalm

    America want to tell EU how to do privacy. Oh the irony.

  12. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Safe Harbor enforceable?

    hahahahahaha... what has the US "privacy" bod been reading?

    The terms of Safe Harbor agreements are rather too clear: any data is only covered for the exact pre-registered purposes. If data is collected for any other purposes then a Safe Harbor agreement does not apply to the data, therefore if a US organisation claims to have signed up to the Safe Harbor agreement then an EU organisation must ensure that the registration has been filled for the exact purposes stated. For example, a US organisation has signed up to Safe Harbor for support purposes for Product A, however a customer provides data for the support of Product B, this is not covered.

    The other gotcha for the Safe Harbor data is that any "official" US organisation that can demonstrate a requirement to access the data must be given access to the data and that there is no legal process to filter this. For example if a local US county decides that it requires access to the data, it must be given access and the safe harbour agreement does not extend to this organisation...

    In effect, once your data is in the US, it can wind up anywhere and there's nothing that you can do about it other than not allow the data into the US in the first place.

  13. Someone Else Silver badge
    Coat

    Julie Brill:

    Can you say, "Pot. Kettle. Black?" I knew you could.

  14. W. Anderson

    There is no doubt that the US (government) approach of appeasing large corporations in regard to less protection of user data for their purely capitalistic gains, is generally quite the opposite as compared to the European Union position of more individual data protection in the interest of common sense and pragmatism. This differences illustrate personal quality of life issues between the two continents.

    Everything done in USA is based on making maximum profit from data on citizens, even allowing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Website to provide private companies with individuals personal health records information for crass monitization and exploitation. (sic).

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