Data Transfer Pact Between U.S. and Europe Is Ruled Invalid

Europe’s highest court on Tuesday struck down an international agreement that allowed companies to move digital information like people’s web search histories and social media updates between the European Union and the United States. The decision left the international operations of companies like Google and Facebook in a sort of legal limbo even as their services continued working as usual.The ruling, by the European Court of Justice, said the so-called safe harbor agreement was flawed because it allowed American government authorities to gain routine access to Europeans’ online information. The court said leaks from Edward J. Snowden, the former contractor for the National Security Agency, made it clear that American intelligence agencies had almost unfettered access to the data, infringing on Europeans’ rights to privacy. see:‘Safe harbour’ ruling illustrates growing chasm between US and EU
The Atlantic Ocean just got a little wider. The European Court of Justice’s latest ruling has determined that the US “does not afford an adequate level of protection of personal data”.The case brought against Facebook over the potential for US government snooping on European citizens’ data, throws the differences in internet culture into stark relief. But those differences have been growing for some time. E.U. court strikes down major data-sharing pact between U.S. and Europe
In a decision that is reverberating across the digital economy, the European Court of Justice on Tuesday struck down a transatlantic agreement that enables companies to transfer data from Europe to the United States, finding that European data is not sufficiently protected in the United States.The ruling will affect more than 4,400 U.S. and European companies that rely on the agreement to move data back and forth across the Atlantic to support trade and jobs. It also could have huge implications for U.S. intelligence agencies, which depend on an ability to sift through large volumes of data in search of clues to disrupt terrorist plots.

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