As any business knows, it is indeed a small world after all. And the FTC’s recent settlement with Google related to the launch of its Google Buzz social network demonstrates why it’s important for companies to think about the global ramifications of their privacy practices.
In place since 2000, the Framework offers American companies a voluntary method for transferring personal data outside the EU in a way consistent with the EU’s Data Protection Directive. To qualify for the Safe Harbor, a company must self-certify to the Department of Commerce that it complies with certain standards — including specific provisions mandating notice to people about how their information will be used and the opportunity to opt out of having their info disclosed to third parties.
The big picture for businesses:
- Statements in privacy policies are claims that have to be truthful and substantiated; and
- Privacy practices can have implications beyond U.S. borders.
Next: The terms of the Google order