U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework Documents

The documents listed and published below constitute the "safe harbor" privacy framework that the U.S. Department of Commerce has negotiated with the Confederation of Switzerland.

The U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework is set forth in a set of 7 privacy principles, 15 frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs), the exchange of letters between the Department and the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) of Switzerland, and letters from the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Transportation on their enforcement powers.

I. U.S. DOCUMENTS – December 2008 - February 2009

A. Cover Letter from Acting Under Secretary for International Trade Administration Michelle O’Neill



1. Sensitive Data

2. Journalistic Exceptions

3. Secondary Liability

4. Investment Banking and Audits

5. The Role of the Commissioner

6. Self-Certification

7. Verification

8. Access

9. Human Resources

10. Data Processing by Third Parties

11. Dispute Resolution and Enforcement

12. Choice - Timing of Opt-out

13. Travel Information

14. Pharmaceutical and Medical Products

15. Public Record and Publicly Available Information

D. Letter from the U.S. Department of Commerce to the Swiss Federal Data Protection Commissioner transmitting the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Privacy Principles and FAQs, etc. (PDF)

E. U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Enforcement Overview

F. Department of Commerce Memorandum on Damages for Breaches of Privacy, Legal Authorizations and Mergers & Takeovers in U.S. Law

G. Letter from the Federal Trade Commission (PDF) concerning its jurisdiction over consumer privacy issues.

H. Letter from the Department of Transportation (PDF) concerning its authority in protecting the privacy of consumers with respect to information provided to airlines.

I. U.S. Government Bodies Empowered to Investigate Complaints

II. SWISS DOCUMENTS – December 2008

A. Letter from the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner finding the safe harbor to provide adequate protections (PDF)