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European data regulator Věra Jourová. Photo: Emmanual Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Officials from the United States have entered the second day of discussions with their European counterparts in Brussels over the status of the Privacy Shield agreement, which allows Europeans to file complaints about how U.S. companies are using their data.

Why it matters: U.S. companies prize the agreement because it lets them easily host the data of European citizens stateside despite the differing regulatory regimes on the two sides of the Atlantic. This is the first time the arrangement is being reviewed since Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal triggered a privacy reckoning in the United States.

  • To satisfy European concerns, the Trump administration appointed an acting ombudsperson for the agreement and new members to a civilian privacy oversight board, known by the acronym PCLOB, which deals with law enforcement access to data.
  • The Federal Trade Commission recently settled with companies that made false claims about their involvement in the Privacy Shield certification process.

What they’re saying: "We discussed the visible progress: [PCLOB] appointments, declassification of important report about limits of US authorities in access to EU’s personal data or ongoing talks about privacy legislation in the US," tweeted European data regulator Věra Jourová after the first day of talks Thursday.

  • "We will be asking thorough questions on the Ombudsperson or vigorous enforcement," she said.

What’s next: On Friday, the group is expected to to tackle "developments concerning the collection of personal data by U.S. authorities for purposes of law enforcement or national security," per the European Commission.

  • Although the administration confirmed an acting ombudsperson, the role remains technically unfilled, and the Europeans are pushing for that role to become permanent and independent from the administration. The newly appointed ombudsperson still serves in another role in the State Department.

The bottom line: Depending on how the talks go, the European Commission concerns could be reflected in a formal report expected by the end of November.

Go deeper

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

Exclusive: Hundreds of kids held in Border Patrol stations

Migrants cross the Rio Bravo to get to El Paso, Texas. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP via Getty Images

More than 700 children who crossed from Mexico into the United States without their parents were in Border Patrol custody as of Sunday, according to an internal Customs and Border Protection document obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The current backup is yet another sign of a brewing crisis for President Biden — and a worsening dilemma for these vulnerable children. Biden is finding it's easier to talk about preventing warehousing kids at the southern border than solving the problem.

Pompeo plots 2024 power play

Mike Pompeo in Washington on Feb. 12. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Mike Pompeo has quickly reentered the political fray, raising money for Republicans, addressing key political gatherings and joining an advocacy group run by Donald Trump's former lawyer.

Why it matters: The former secretary of state is widely considered a potential 2024 presidential contender. His professional moves this week indicate he's working to keep his name in the headlines and bolster a political brand built largely on foreign policies easily contrasted with the Biden White House.