E.U. Court Strikes Down Trans-Atlantic Data Transfer Pact

Europe’s top court on Thursday struck down a trans-Atlantic agreement that allows scores of companies to move data between the European Union and the United States, causing uncertainty for businesses that rely on moving digital information seamlessly around the world.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that the agreement, known as Privacy Shield, did not comply with European privacy rights. Privacy Shield, created in 2016, allows businesses in the European Union and the United States to move data more easily between the two regions. More than 5,000 companies use the system.

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Tech firms like Facebook must restrict data sent from EU to US, court rules
Tech companies like Facebook could be prevented from sending data back to the US, after the latest ruling in a long-running European legal saga found that there are not enough protections against snooping by US intelligence agencies.

The ruling of the court of justice of the European Union (CJEU) does not immediately end such transfers, but requires data protection authorities (DPAs) in individual member states to vet the sending of any new data to make sure people’s personal information remains protected according to the EU’s data protection laws (GDPR).

Top E.U. court ruling throws transatlantic digital commerce into disarray over privacy concerns
The European Union’s top court on Thursday threw a large portion of transatlantic digital commerce into disarray, ruling that data of E.U. residents is not sufficiently protected from government surveillance when it is transferred to the United States.

The ruling was likely to increase transatlantic tensions at a moment when President Trump has already been threatening tariffs and retaliation against the E.U. for what he says are unfair business practices. It was a victory for privacy advocates, who said that E.U. citizens are not as protected when their information is transferred to U.S. servers as when that information stays inside Europe.

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