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The International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles are part of European Union law – they direct the ways that European Union countries can work with outside countries to safeguard the digital data of EU citizens. These principles were created around the turn of the millennium to protect consumers.
Safe Harbor principles set up specific requirements for data handling. These include individuals being given notice about the data being collected and how it will be used, as well as the choice to opt out of data collection. Reasonable security standards and data integrity standards are also part of the Safe Harbor guidelines. The guidelines also provide for access and enforcement.
The Safe Harbor Principles have specific applications to transatlantic communications. Diplomats are still working across the Atlantic on new agreements between the United States and the European Union on data transfers. One of the sticking points in negotiations remains the issue of the American intelligence community's access to data coming into and out of the U.S.