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EU privacy watchdogs seek assurances on U.S. data transfer deal

Staff Writer |
European Union data privacy watchdogs will seek assurances from the U.S. that moves against illegal immigration will not undermine a transatlantic pact protecting the privacy of Europeans' data.

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European concerns have been raised by an executive order signed by Trump on January 25 aiming to toughen enforcement of U.S. immigration law.

The order directs U.S. agencies to "exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information."

The exemption of foreigners from the U.S. law governing how federal agencies collect and use information about people has stoked worries across the Atlantic about the new administration's approach to privacy and its impact on cross-border data flows.

Officials responsible for protecting the privacy of data in the 28 European Union countries are particularly concerned about any impact Trump's order may have on a framework hammered out last year to enable companies to seamlessly transfer Europeans' data across the Atlantic.

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