(Bloomberg) -- U.S. officials pledged their commitment to a trans-Atlantic data transfer pact that companies around the world depend on, as uncertainty grew over whether this would remain the case after Donald Trump’s stunning victory in the U.S. presidential election.
“We have a real expectation that a new administration would come in and follow through on” what’s been done, Ted Dean, deputy assistant secretary for services at the U.S. Department of Commerce told a privacy conference in Brussels Wednesday. Any move away from the commitments the U.S. has made after long negotiations with the European Union would face “tremendous pressure” from industry, he said.
The Republican real-estate developer and reality-TV star defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton after a punishing campaign that exposed searing divides in the American public. Trump, 70, will become the 45th president of the United States, with a Republican-controlled Congress to enact his agenda and the ability to appoint Supreme Court justices in the coming years.
“This whole program was built with very significant ongoing interaction between U.S. and European Commission and data protection authorities,” said Dean at the event organized by the International Association of Privacy Professionals. The mechanism was designed “knowing that we would go into a political transition.”
The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield was enacted in July, months after both sides were forced back to the drawing board when the bloc’s top court annulled a “safe-harbor” accord dating back to 2000 for failing to offer sufficient safeguards. The new deal seeks to address concerns that American spies had unfettered access to European citizens’ private data.
“From the intelligence community’s point of view, we’re committed to this going forward,” Robert Litt, general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said at the same Brussels event. “I think that the intelligence community believes that on the whole we’re better off with this, than without it.”
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