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The Privacy Advisor | S*fe H*rbor Naming Contest: The Final Round Related reading: All the Safe Harbor Answers: Part 1





The nominations are in: Over the past two weeks we’ve received nearly 100 submissions to our contest to find a better name than "Safe Harbor 2.0" for the data-transfer agreement currently being hammered out by the EU and U.S. governments in the wake of the Schrems decision. 

And the contest has only become more timely in the interim. Just this week, as part of a post-Safe Harbor panel at the IAPP’s Practical Privacy Series event in Washington, DC, Ted Dean and Justin Antonipillai, respectively Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services and Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Commerce, were asked, “Are you really going to keep the Safe Harbor name?” 

Their answer: “There’s a reason we’re not in the marketing department.” Well, the IAPP is here to help augment your marketing team, guys. 

However, before we get to the voting for the best new name, it might be fun to look at some of the suggestions that didn’t make the top five. A number of you, for example, played around with acronyms. No, we’re not going to select “Safe Harbor Information Trail.” We see what you did there. Nor does Secure And Confidential Release of Electronic Data seem serious. It’s both unwieldy and a little creepy to be talking about SACRED oaths.

File Interchange Guidelines Linking Europe & America Forever (FIGLEAF) is certainly witty, but perhaps a bit cynical. Similarly, Safe Transfer Of Personal Information Through Negotiated Settlement Agreement shows a talent for naming, but STOP IT NSA seems a bit one-sided. We're trying to move past all that. Many of us thought Trans-Atlantic Privacy Shield seemed really solid until we thought about “Taps” – we don’t want this to be dead on arrival.

Finally, Trans-Atlantic Dataflow Protection through Oversight and Legally Equivalent Safeguards just made us wonder: Why TADPOLES? Are we hoping the agreement grows into a frog that can be kissed into a prince?

Then there are those that maybe don’t have quite enough gravitas. The No Danger Zone is very 1980s (Top Gun!) and Baywatch very 1990s, but we’re not sure that's the direction we should be looking. The Data Chunnel shows potential, but we thought maybe that should be reserved until we know what’s going on with Brexit. And Privacy in Motion reminded us too much of that song from Saint Elmo’s Fire.

There was even one that suggested we name it after Columbus. We weren’t sure if that one was serious or not.

In the end, our criteria for picking a top five boiled down to this: First, would people actually say it out loud with a straight face? Second, does it accurately describe what’s being accomplished? Third, could it easily be tattooed on the inside of a forearm?

Wait, wait. No, we struck that last one. Really, it was the first two.

So, without further ado, please click the below link and pick your favorite. You’ve got two weeks to vote, and we’ll announce the winner at the first full day of our Data Protection Congress, happening in Brussels on December 2. Good luck, and happy voting.



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  • comment Lisa McKay • Nov 19, 2015
    Best privacy article I've read all year!
  • comment Judy Schmitt • Nov 20, 2015
    Great choices as the finalists.  Has consideration been given as to how well they translate into other languages?
  • comment Sam • Nov 20, 2015
    Hi Judy - great question. I didn't do anything methodical, no, but I tried to make sure they were the sorts of terms policymakers use on a regular basis. DataBridge, for example, might be a bit out of the ordinary, but is in the spirit of the Privacy Bridges project. I did get some feedback on what "pipa" means in Polish, though (I wouldn't recommend googling that, at least not at work).