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EU-US Trade Talks: Privacy issues loom over EU-U.S. trade talks - by Jessica Meyers

Disclosures about the National Security Agency’s surveillance of European diplomats shrouded opening talks last week on a massive agreement between the European Union and United States that would redefine digital trade. While the revelations’ effects remain unclear, they have magnified privacy concerns and further politicized an already tense debate over information access and ownership.

Negotiators now face an even knottier battle to reconcile the tech industry’s push for digital freedom with European desires for individual protections.

“Right now, the Europeans have a much better hand to play,” said Danny O’Brien, international director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “It looks a lot worse to say we should let this data flow in and out of the U.S. when everybody knows the government is tapping these ins and outs.”

Spying protocols don’t factor into the talks as much as commercial privacy regulations. But the regions differ widely in their views on privacy and data protection, and the scandal hands Europeans a negotiating tool in one of the deal’s most contentious issues.

Read more: Privacy issues loom over EU-U.S. trade talks - Jessica Meyers -

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