[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 73 (Tuesday, April 17, 2007)]
[Pages 19172-19173]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-7215]



 International Trade Administration

 Information for Self-Certification Under FAQ 6 of the United 
States European Union Safe Harbor Privacy Framework

AGENCY: International Trade Administration, United States Department of 

ACTION: Proposed information collection; comment request.


SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort 
to reduce paperwork and respondent burdens, invites the general public 
and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the 
continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before June 18, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental 
Paperwork, Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6625, 14th 
and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet 
at dHynek@doc.gov).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or 
copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should 
be directed to: Damon Greer, U.S. Department of Commerce, International 
Trade Administration, Room 2003, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20230; Phone number: (202) 482-5023 and fax number: 
(202) 482-5522.


I. Abstract

    In response to the European Union Directive on Data Protection that 
restricts transfers of personal information from Europe to countries 
whose privacy practices are not deemed ``adequate,'' the U.S. 
Department of Commerce (DOC) has developed a ``Safe Harbor'' framework 
that will allow U.S. organizations to satisfy the European Directive's 
requirements and ensure that personal data flows to the United States 
are not interrupted. In this process, the DOC repeatedly consulted with 
U.S. organizations affected by the European Directive and interested 
non-government organizations. On July 27, 2000, the European Commission 
issued its decision in accordance with Article 25.6 of the Directive 
that the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles provide adequate privacy 
protection. The Safe Harbor framework bridges the differences between 
the European Union (EU) and U.S. approaches to privacy protection. The 
complete set of Safe Harbor documents and additional guidance materials 
may be found at http://export.gov/safeharbor.
    Once the Safe Harbor was deemed ``adequate'' by the European 
Commission on July 27, 2000, DOC began working on the requirements that 
are necessary to put this accord into effect. The European Member 
States implemented the decision made by the Commission within 90 days. 
Therefore, the Safe Harbor became operational on November 1, 2000. The 
DOC created a list for U.S. organizations to sign up to the Safe Harbor 
and provided guidance on the mechanics of signing up to this list. As 
of March 1, 2007, 1,100 U.S. organizations have been placed on the Safe 
Harbor List, located at http://export.gov/safeharbor.
    Organizations that have signed up to this list are deemed 
``adequate'' under the Directive and do not have to provide further 
documentation to European officials. This list will be used by EU 
organizations to determine whether further information and contracts 
will be needed for a U.S. organization to receive personally 
identifiable information. This list is necessary to make the Safe 
Harbor accord operational, and was a key demand of the Europeans in 
agreeing that the Principles were providing ``adequate'' privacy 
    The Safe Harbor provides a number of important benefits to U.S. 
firms. Most importantly, it provides predictability and continuity for 
U.S. organizations that receive personal information from the European 
Union. Personally identifiable information is defined as any 
information that can be identified to a specific person, for example an 
employee's name and extension would be considered personally 
identifiable information. All 15 member countries are bound by the 
European Commission's finding of ``adequacy''. The Safe Harbor also 
eliminates the need for prior approval to begin data transfers, or 
makes approval from the appropriate EU member countries automatic. The 
Safe Harbor principles offer a simpler and cheaper means of complying 
with the adequacy requirements of the Directive, which should 
particularly benefit small and medium enterprises.
    The decision to enter the Safe Harbor is entirely voluntary. 
Organizations that decide to participate in the Safe Harbor must comply 
with the safe harbor's requirements and publicly declare that they do 
so. To be assured of Safe Harbor benefits, an organization needs to 
reaffirm its self-certification annually to the Department of Commerce 
that it agrees to adhere to the safe harbor's requirements, which 
includes elements such as notice, choice, access, data integrity, 
security and enforcement.
    This list will be most regularly used by European Union 
organizations to determine whether further information and contracts 
will be needed by a U.S. organization to receive personally 
identifiable information. It will be used by the European Data 
Protection Authorities to determine whether a company is providing 
``adequate'' protection, and whether a company has requested to 
cooperate with the Data Protection Authority. This list will be 
accessed when there is a complaint logged in the EU against a U.S. 
organization. This will be on a monthly basis. It will be used by the 
Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Transportation to 
determine whether a company is part of the Safe Harbor. This will be 
accessed if a company is practicing ``unfair and deceptive'' practices 
and has misrepresented itself to the public. It will be used by the 
Department of Commerce and the European Commission to determine if 
organizations are signing up to the list.

[[Page 19173]]

II. Method of Collection

    The self-certification form is provided via the Internet at http://
export.gov/safeharbor and by mail to requesting U.S. firms.

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0625-0239.
    Form Number: None.
    Type of Review: Regular submission.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 500.
    Estimated Time per Response: Web site, 20 minutes; and paper 
format, 40 minutes.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 400.
    Estimated Total Annual Costs to Public: $20,000.

IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the agency, including whether the information shall have practical 
utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden 
(including hours and costs) of the proposed collection of information; 
(c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the 
collection of information on respondents, including through the use of 
automated collection techniques or forms of information technology.
    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized 
and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information 
collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: April 11, 2007.
Gwellnar Banks,
Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
 [FR Doc. E7-7215 Filed 4-16-07; 8:45 am]