Clothing manufacturer American Apparel has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it falsely claimed it was abiding by the US-EU Safe Harbor privacy framework.

The arrangement enables US companies to transfer consumer data from the EU to the US in compliance with EU law, based on companies’ self-certification that they abide by seven privacy principles.

According to the FTC complaint, American Apparel deceptively claimed that it held current certifications under the US-EU and US-Swiss Safe Harbor frameworks, even though the certifications had lapsed.

Under the proposed settlement agreement, the company is prohibited from misrepresenting the extent to which it takes part in any privacy or data security programme sponsored by the government or other self-regulatory or standard-setting organisations.

“The FTC is committed to making sure that when companies claim they’re participating in the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework, they’re abiding by the terms of the programme,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.