Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Negotiating Privacy: The European Union, the United States, and Personal Data Protection

Dorothee Heisenberg
Negotiating Privacy: The European Union, the United States, and Personal Data Protection
ISBN: 978-1-58826-380-3
ISBN: 978-1-62637-007-4
2005/211 pages/LC: 2005005663
iPolitics: Global Challenges in the Information Age


How did the European Union come to be the global leader in setting data privacy standards? And what is the significance of this development? Dorothee Heisenberg traces the origins of the stringent EU privacy laws, the responses of the United States and other governments, and the reactions and concerns of a range of interest groups.

Analyzing the negotiation of the original 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, the 2000 Safe Harbor Agreement, and the 2004 Passenger Name Record Agreement, Heisenberg shows that the degree to which business vs. consumer interests were factored into governments' positions was the source not only of U.S.-EU conflicts, but also of their resolution. She finds, too, that public opinion in Europe and the U.S. has been remarkably similar—and thus cannot account for official U.S. reaction to the issues raised by the EU privacy directive. More broadly, Negotiating Privacy sheds important light on both the relationship between the U.S. and the EU and the relationship between domestic issues and the development of international rules.


Dorothee Heisenberg is S. Richard Hirsch Associate Professor of European Studies at Johns Hopkins University's SAIS. She is author of The Mark of the Bundesbank: Germany's Role in European Monetary Cooperation.


  • Data Privacy: Setting the International Standard.
  • Why the Conflict? Exploring Public Opinion and Business Concerns.
  • Keeping Business Out of the Loop: Negotiating the European Data Protection Directive.
  • Keeping Privacy Advocates Out of the Loop: Negotiating the Safe Harbor Agreement.
  • The EU Standard Gains Critical Mass: International Responses.
  • Implementing the Safe Harbor Agreement: How Well Does It Work?
  • New Controversies Test the EU Privacy Standard.
  • Implications for the Future.
  • Appendixes: Comparing the European Data Protection Directive and the OECD Guidelines.
  • Synopsis of US Federal Privacy Legislation.