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Hogan Lovells Forms Coalition for Privacy and Free Trade

18 March 2013

Coalition to be advised by former White House privacy and trade officials and by former EU Ambassador to the United States

WASHINGTON, D.C., 18 March 2013 – Hogan Lovells announced today the formation of the Coalition for Privacy and Free Trade, an alliance formed by leaders from both the privacy and trade worlds, that is open to businesses committed to digital free trade and the protection of personal privacy. 

One of the main objectives of the Coalition is to address the issue of non-tariff trade barriers that make importation or exportation of products and services difficult and/or costly due to disparate privacy and data protection regulations from around the world. The Coalition will also promote interoperability and international legal reciprocity between differing national legal frameworks.

In announcing the new coalition, Christopher Wolf, Director of Hogan Lovells’ Privacy and Information Management practice and Founder/Co-Chair of the Future of Privacy Forum think tank commented:

“Digital trade in the U.S. and global economies can flourish only if there is adequate protection of personal data. The privacy and security of personal data, and the respect for personal control of data, must be paramount in the digital trade environment. At the same time, excessive, duplicative or inconsistent regulation designed to provide the needed protections can put a brake on robust digital trade and economic growth.” 

The formation of the Coalition comes on the heels of announcements by President Obama and other high-level leaders of new discussions between the United States and the European Union toward a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and by Japan’s announcement of its intention to join the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

The purpose of the Coalition for Privacy and Free Trade is to enable companies to support government officials charged with negotiating new trade agreements, particularly global influential initiatives such as TTIP, by providing concrete information and education on ways to achieve interoperability of privacy and data protection regulations.

“Promoting greater interoperability between US and EU privacy regimes can be a win for consumers on both sides of the Atlantic, reduce barriers to the free flow of information, and provide the basis for shared leadership on global Internet policy by the United States and Europe together,” added Daniel J. Weitzner, former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy in the White House, and Senior Academic Advisor to the Coalition.
As privacy becomes a topic for trade negotiations in an unprecedented way, the Coalition will bring together unique leadership from both the privacy and trade sectors, including:

  • Former EU Ambassador to the United States, Hugo Paemen, and former United States Trade Representative (USTR) Clayton Yeutter, Senior Advisors with Hogan Lovells.
  • Privacy and Information Management partners Christopher Wolf and Harriet Pearson and International Trade partners Warren Maruyama and Jonathan Stoel.
  • Daniel J. Weitzner, an expert on privacy law and policy who directs the MIT CSAIL Decentralized Information Group, and was recently the United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy in the White House. 

As part of its initial efforts, the Coalition plans to canvas the views of interested companies on submitting comments to USTR as it begins negotiations with the EU for a Free Trade Agreement.  A meeting of coalition members is planned for early April.

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