Group’s President and CEO Victoria Espinel to Share Expertise on International Data Flows and Digital Trade
WASHINGTON — November 3, 2015 — In testimony before two House Committees today, Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance, will highlight the importance and benefits of the data economy and moving data across borders.
Ms. Espinel will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittees on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade and Communications and Technology on the topic of “Examining the EU Safe Harbor Decision and Impacts for Transatlantic Data Flows.” She will also testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet on “International Data Flows: Promoting Digital Trade in the 21st Century.”
“Data is the fuel that helps businesses today compete and succeed,” says Espinel. “Cross-border data flows are therefore key to the current and future success of the United States economy.”
Espinel’s testimony in today’s hearing on “Examining the EU Safe Harbor Decision and Impacts for Transatlantic Data Flows” will focus on the legal and business uncertainty created by the striking down of the US-EU Safe Harbor data-transfer pact and the need to update the Safe Harbor Framework.
“The recent European Court of Justice’s decision on Safe Harbor is of great concern,” says Espinel. “When events occur that threaten the legal underpinnings that enable data flows, they pose great disruptions which can forestall that promise of common benefit. The United States and Europe are not as far apart in terms of privacy principles and practices as some might think. Many American companies already meet European-level data protection standards as a result of their global business operations. Where there are gaps that span the Atlantic, whether perceived or actual, we can close these, through a combination of dialogue, domestic legal reform, and international commitments. Congress will be a key part of enabling this to happen.”
During today’s hearing on “International Data Flows: Promoting Digital Trade in the 21st Century,” Espinel will address issues such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the EU-US Safe Harbor agreement, and barriers to digital trade.
“BSA members welcome the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), especially in light of the troubling growth in data localization measures and other barriers to digital trade,” says Espinel. “Although we have not yet seen the final text, we understand that the Agreement includes robust commitments on cross-border data flows, including explicit prohibitions on data- and server-localization mandates. These commitments would mark a significant milestone in international law and set a new global standard for promoting trade in digital and data-driven products and services.”