The Privacy Across Borders (PAB) team is excited to launch this new site to explore solutions to the challenging issues that arise when data crosses borders, especially those at the intersection of technology, privacy, and security.

Initially, this site will focus on our current work to preserve transatlantic data flows in the wake of the Schrems II ruling. Our goal in this project is a practical one: to develop workable approaches that put digital data flows on a sustainable footing not only in response to the current crisis, but also over the long term, in a manner that balances the protection of both privacy and national security.

In that regard, we have put together the PAB Resource Guide to help people locate legal resources relevant to understanding the issues raised by the Schrems II case. This is a living guide; we will endeavor to keep it up to date, and welcome suggestions for additions or other changes.

Although our current focus is Schrems II, we are interested in diving into some of the other pressing issues that arise when data cross borders, especially as calls for data localization, data residency, and data sovereignty continue to spread. What are the practical implications of these efforts to control and condition the flow of data for technology, security, and privacy? Subject to available time and resources, we will post more information on potential future projects.

We have assembled a fantastic team of researchers and senior advisors who are exploring workable solutions to these complex and multifaceted problems.

My name is Alex Joel, and I am delighted to lead these efforts. I’m a senior project leader with the Tech, Law & Security Program (TLS), which the American University Washington College of Law launched a couple of years ago. Before joining TLS, I spent nearly two decades in the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), working to maintain the balance between privacy and security, and between secrecy and transparency.

In that capacity, I had the pleasure of meeting with professionals from around the world, including those working in national security agencies, data protection offices, and intelligence oversight institutions, as well as from civil society. In the past decade, I helped lead and champion the IC’s initiatives to improve transparency, develop and implement protections for people regardless of their nationality, and address the issues raised by the European Union (EU).

I’m now out of the IC, but I still carry with me a passionate commitment to finding solutions for how the U.S. and like-minded democracies can both protect national security and individual privacy.

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