IDG News Service (Brussels Bureau) — Europe's Justice Commissioner warned Tuesday that data privacy concerns could derail a major trade deal between the U.S. and the E.U.
"The U.S. will have to take European concerns about privacy and data protection very seriously ... otherwise, the European Parliament may decide to reject the TTIP," Commissioner Viviane Reding said at a conference in Washington.
TTIP -- the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership -- is being negotiated in secret between the E.U. and U.S. It has provoked concerns in Europe that it could weaken citizens' privacy rights.
The issue of protection of personal data could "easily derail" the negotiations, Reding said, and she warned against including the topic in the trade talks. "Data protection is not red tape or a tariff. It is a fundamental right and as such it is not negotiable," she said.