A Transatlantic Talk with U.S. Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill on Privacy and Security in a Digital Age
The German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Transatlantic Talk on December 8, 2015, featured Commissioner Julie Brill from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission as the guest speaker. Dr. Daniela Schwarzer, Director of GMF’s Berlin Office and Director of Research, Europe Program, gave her welcoming remarks, followed by a brief presentation by Sudha David-Wilp, Deputy Director of the Berlin Office, of the Transatlantic Digital Dialogue Report, a collaboration with the Stiftung neue Verantwortung. Cherno Jobatey, Editorial Director of the Huffington Post Germany and ZDF Host, moderated the discussion followed by a Q&A session. Participants from digital companies, industry, media, and think tanks posed questions to Commissioner Brill.
In the discussion on digital privacy and security, attention was first given to the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) “Safe Harbor” ruling, which overturned a 15-year-long agreement between the U.S. and the European Union on transatlantic data flows. Commissioner Brill, while seeing both the good and the bad aspects of the ruling, was overall “saddened” by the ECJ’s October 6th decision. Regarding the transatlantic perspective on digital privacy, Julie Brill mentioned that the European viewpoint often dismisses the fact that the United States also values digital privacy and that an “iterative discussion” on the balance between privacy and security exists in the U.S. Furthermore, Commissioner Brill advocated espousing the cultural aspects that the U.S. and Europe share rather than only focusing on the differences.