Thune Concerned About EU Privacy Decision

Add Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) to those concerned about a EU Court of Justice decision that the EU/U.S. safe harbor meant to give European countries confidence that their data sent to or stored on U.S. servers is protected, is invalid.

Thune, chairman of the Senate Commerce committee, released a statement following the court decision in a case involving a European Facebook sub who claimed his data stored in the U.S. was not safe given the revelations about massive surveillance leaked by Edward Snowden.

"Today's unfortunate decision harms consumers who benefit from trans-Atlantic data flows under the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Agreement," he said. "I strongly encourage the U.S. Department of Commerce to conclude negotiations on a new agreement with the European Union that allows the free flow of data to continue. Until those negotiations are complete, it is imperative that businesses who relied upon the Safe Harbor have clear guidance on how to continue operations."

Asked if the chairman would call a hearing to look into the implications of the decision, a spokesman for the senator would only say he was "still developing our next steps."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.