12 Mich. St. U. J. Int'l L. 169 (2003-2004)
Harmonizing U.S.-EU Online Privacy Laws: Toward a U.S. Comprehensive Regime for the Protection of Personal Data

handle is hein.journals/mistjintl12 and id is 175 raw text is: HARMONIZING U.S.-EU ONLINE PRIVACY LAWS:
TOWARD A U.S. COMPREHENSIVE REGIME FOR
THE PROTECTION OF PERSONAL DATA
Kamaal Zaidi*
INTRODUCTION
In the age of global online commercial transactions, privacy is
becoming a major issue in relation to the collection, dissemination and
protection of personal data. In the context of trade relations between the
United States and the European Union (EU), online privacy issues are
emerging in light of the pronounced differences in privacy regulation
between the two sides. These differences arise out of an incongruence
in the degree of comprehensiveness of protection standards that are
promulgated by the relevant authorities regarding the online collection
and transfer of personal data.
Privacy regimes among various nations exist in either a comprehen-
sive or sectoral fashion. Under Directive 95/46/EC, the EU employs a
comprehensive approach that binds all EU member states to implement
adequate protections of personal data used in commercial trans-
actions.' In contrast, the U.S. employs a sectoral approach that involves
less privacy protectionsz U.S. companies engaging in online commerce
with the EU are thus facing increasingly rigorous compliance standards.
If such EU standards are not met by a U.S. company, penalties in the
form of legal enforcement actions may result.
With regard to online commercial transactions, the EU utilizes strict
privacy standards for non-EU entities accessing personal data from EU
member states. The reason for introducing such standards is to curb
* The author is a third year law student at University of Tulsa College of Law.
Expected date of graduation is May 2004. I would like to thank Associate Professor Janet Levit
(at University of Tulsa College of Law) for providing constructive criticism and guidance
throughout my paper.
1. Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October
1995 on the Protection of Individuals with Regard to the Processing of Personal Data and on
the Free Movement of such Data, 1995 O.J. (L281) 31, available at http://www.cdt.org/privacy/
eudirective/EUDirective_.html [hereinafter EU Directive or Directive].
2. U.S. DEP'T OF COMMERCE, SAFE HARBOR OVERvIEW, available at
http://www.export.gov/safeharbor/sh-overview.html (last visited March 30,2003) [hereinafter
DOC SAFE HARBOR].

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