The European Commission has issued its draft mandate - setting the ground rules to negotiate with the US to create a data sharing agreement.
This must now be approved by the European Council before negotiations can begin.
US authorities got access to European finance records and more detailed information on airline passengers in the wake of 9/11. Currently no financial information is being given to the US because the previous agreement lapsed in February.
The proposals will give US authorities access to European data for "specified, explicit and legitimate purposes" for crime and terrorism-fighting purposes. Europeans would have the right to access their own information and have it corrected or deleted if it is incorrect.
Former Info Commissioner, now Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding promised European citizens would have more rights to access and correct data held about them. She said such sharing of information was vital to fight crime and terrorism but said there could be no data sharing without proper data protection.
Any deal agreed on data protection would apply to previous information sharing agreements like Passenger Name Records - the information airlines must give to US authorities for everyone flying into the country.
The full statement is here. ®