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Data Privacy Sector

If a report below does not have a direct link, it means it is somewhat older and we ask that you request it by sending an email to office.brusselsec@trade.gov . Please keep in mind that you may be asked to register on the Commercial Service website to do download reports with links.

MR-117 / E-commerce with the EU

This report will address the range of regulatory issues that should be taken into account by US companies wanting to do business with EU customers over the Internet. It consists of a series of paragraphs addressing various aspects of EU law that affects e-commerce. Please note that of necessity, this report is a high-level summary. In all cases, links are provided to Web addresses that provide more complete information. The summary below is intended as an aid only.

E-commerce is one of the most lightly regulated areas of the EU economy. The legal framework is relatively consistent across the EU; as a result, it should be a major motor of transatlantic trade.

MR-94 / European Union: Data Retention Regulation

This report explains EU regulation relating to retention of traffic data produced as a result of electronic communications.

MR-29 / EU Rules Banning Spam

The European Union recently approved a law, popularized as a “ban on spam,” which in most situations requires companies to get the prior consent of individuals before sending them marketing communications by email. This “opt-in” approach contrasts with the “opt-out” requirement in the recent CAN-SPAM legislation in the United States. The following report sets out what the new EU rules are, and what U.S. companies based both inside the region and out should consider when complying with them.

MR-13 / Transferring Customer and Employee Data from the EU to the U.S.

Data management is crucial to most companies’ operations. The data often include names, addresses and other information on suppliers, customers or employees. If U.S. companies receive this type of data from the European Union (EU), or collect it within the EU, they need to be aware of EU wide laws that set out how personally identifiable data can be collected, stored, processed and transferred. This report examines the provisions in the EU’s Data Protection Directive as they relate to data exports. It sets out the obligations facing U.S. companies in this area, and outlines the compliance options available to them.