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Inter­pel­la­ti­on Schwa­ab (15.3045): Does the Tisa agree­ment impo­se second-class pri­va­cy pro­tec­tion on us?

Inter­pel­la­ti­on Schwa­ab (15.3045): Does the Tisa agree­ment impo­se second-class pri­va­cy pro­tec­tion on us?
Not yet trea­ted; Dis­cus­sion moved (19.06.2015)

Sub­mit­ted text

I put the fol­lo­wing que­sti­ons to the Fede­ral Council:

1. can he con­firm that the pro­po­sals men­tio­ned in the expl­ana­to­ry memo­ran­dum were under discussion?

2. could the­se pro­po­sals pos­si­bly be inclu­ded in the final agreement?

3. what would be the impact of such pro­vi­si­ons on the pro­tec­tion of pri­va­cy in Switzerland?

4. could such pro­vi­si­ons affect the appli­ca­ti­on and streng­thening of Swiss legis­la­ti­on on data pro­tec­tion, in par­ti­cu­lar Artic­le 6 DPA and Artic­le 13 of the Fede­ral Constitution?

5. could such pro­vi­si­ons affect the appli­ca­ti­on of artic­le 47 BankG?

6. does the Fede­ral Coun­cil sup­port the­se pro­po­sals? If so, why?

7. might such uncer­tain­ty in data pro­tec­tion not affect the fur­ther deve­lo­p­ment of data reten­ti­on in Switzerland?

Justi­fi­ca­ti­on

Accor­ding to lea­k­ed docu­ments rela­ted to the nego­tia­ti­on of the Tisa agree­ment, the fol­lo­wing pro­vi­si­ons of the agree­ment (and its anne­xes) are being nego­tia­ted at the request of the United States:

Artic­le X.2: Local Content

l. Sub­ject to any con­di­ti­ons, limi­ta­ti­ons and qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons set out in its Sche­du­le, no Par­ty may, in con­nec­tion with the sup­p­ly of a ser­vice by a ser­vice sup­plier, impo­se or enforce any requi­re­ment; enforce any com­mit­ment or under­ta­king; or, in con­nec­tion with the sup­p­ly of a ser­vice through com­mer­cial pre­sence, con­di­ti­on the rece­ipt or con­tin­ued rece­ipt of an advan­ta­ge on com­pli­ance with any requirement:

(a) to purcha­se, use or accord a pre­fe­rence to:

(iii) com­pu­ting faci­li­ties loca­ted in its ter­ri­to­ry or com­pu­ter pro­ce­s­sing or sto­rage ser­vices sup­plied from within its territory;

Artic­le X.4: Move­ment of Information

No Par­ty may pre­vent a ser­vice sup­plier of ano­ther Par­ty from trans­fer­ring, acce­s­sing, pro­ce­s­sing or sto­ring infor­ma­ti­on, inclu­ding per­so­nal infor­ma­ti­on, within or out­side the Party’s ter­ri­to­ry, whe­re such acti­vi­ty is car­ri­ed out in con­nec­tion with the con­duct of the ser­vice supplier’s business.

The­se pro­vi­si­ons could amount to pro­hi­bi­ting Tisa con­trac­ting sta­tes from pre­ven­ting the cross-bor­der dis­clo­sure of per­so­nal data (even to a coun­try with ina­de­qua­te stan­dards). Con­trac­ting sta­tes could also no lon­ger requi­re data to be kept in Switz­er­land. The Depu­ty Fede­ral Data Pro­tec­tion and Infor­ma­ti­on Com­mis­sio­ner expres­ses con­cern (“Le Matin” of Janu­ary 12, 2015).

State­ment of the Fede­ral Council

The nego­tia­ti­ons on the Trade in Ser­vices Agree­ment (Tisa) include various pro­po­sals on a wide ran­ge of topics, inclu­ding ICT (infor­ma­ti­on and com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on tech­no­lo­gies). As a mat­ter of prin­ci­ple, the Fede­ral Coun­cil does not com­ment on text mate­ri­al brought to public atten­ti­on by unknown par­ties and its authen­ti­ci­ty. Irre­spec­ti­ve of their ori­gin and topi­cal­i­ty, the Fede­ral Coun­cil would point out that in the Tisa pro­cess – as in other simi­lar nego­tia­ti­ons – the text pro­po­sals sub­mit­ted are sub­ject to the nego­tia­ting dyna­mics and a lively pro­cess of amend­ment and rejec­tion by a group of over 20 nego­tia­ting par­ties. The­r­e­fo­re, at the cur­rent stage of the Tisa nego­tia­ti­ons, any fore­cast of pos­si­ble nego­tia­ti­on results and their effects would be speculative.

4 – 6 The area of ICT is clo­se­ly lin­ked to the issues of data pro­tec­tion and pri­va­cy. The Swiss nego­tia­ting dele­ga­ti­on the­r­e­fo­re exami­nes all pro­po­sals, par­ti­cu­lar­ly in the area of ICT, with the­se issues in mind and sup­ports excep­ti­ons whe­re neces­sa­ry or enters reser­va­tions or rejects pro­po­sals in order to avo­id incom­pa­ti­bi­li­ties of Tisa with the Swiss legal system (inclu­ding the afo­re­men­tio­ned pro­vi­si­ons of the Fede­ral Con­sti­tu­ti­on, the DPA, and the BankA). Tisa does not pre­vent Switz­er­land from main­tai­ning its pro­vi­si­ons on pri­va­cy and data protection.

7. the Fede­ral Coun­cil will not accept any nego­tia­ti­on out­co­me that would impair the fur­ther deve­lo­p­ment of data reten­ti­on in Switz­er­land and neces­si­ta­te a cor­re­spon­ding amend­ment of the legal pro­vi­si­ons on data pro­tec­tion and pri­va­cy. Switzerland’s legal data and pri­va­cy pro­tec­tion con­tri­bu­tes to a favorable envi­ron­ment for data reten­ti­on ser­vices, among others. In view of the out­co­me of the nego­tia­ti­ons, the Fede­ral Coun­cil aims to streng­then the frame­work con­di­ti­ons for cur­rent and poten­ti­al future busi­ness are­as of the Swiss eco­no­my and its jobs, inclu­ding in the ICT sector.

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