Missed Connections: Talking With Europe About Data, Privacy, and Surveillance

The United States exports digital goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars across the Atlantic each year.  And both Silicon Valley and Hollywood do big business with Europe every year.  Differences in approaches to privacy have always made this relationship unsteady but the Snowden disclosures greatly complicated the prospects of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.  In this paper Cameron Kerry examines that politics of transatlantic trade and the critical role that U.S. privacy policy plays in these conversations.

Kerry relies on his experience as the U.S.’s chief international negotiator for privacy and data regulation to provide an overview of key proposals related to privacy and data in Europe.  He addresses the possible development of a European Internet and the current regulatory regime known as Safe Harbor. Kerry argues that America and Europe have different approaches to protecting privacy both which have strengths and weaknesses.

To promote transatlantic trade the United states should:

  • Not be defensive about its protection of privacy
  • Provide clear information to the worldwide community about American law enforcement surveillance
  • Strengthen its own privacy protection
  • Focus on the importance of trade to the American and European economies