Europe and U.S. Data-Sharing Pact to Replace Privacy Shield

The Supreme Court’s recent FBI v. Fazaga decision regarding surveillance has been interpreted by some as an obstacle to Biden administration efforts to secure an effective replacement for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. Originally implemented in 2016, thousands of U.S. companies had been relying on the Privacy Shield to centralize customer data. In 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) nullified the framework after finding U.S. surveillance laws provide a loophole for unauthorized access to data belonging to EU citizens. Earlier today however, the U.S. and European Union agreed “in principle” to a revamped framework for data transfers. Continue reading Europe and U.S. Data-Sharing Pact to Replace Privacy Shield

Data Act Aims to Protect EU Consumers in Smart Device Era

The European Commission has proposed new rules on who can use and access data generated across economic sectors in the European Union. The proposed legislation would require Amazon, Microsoft, Google and other cloud service providers as well as those who harvest data to establish safeguards preventing non-EU governments from illegally accessing EU consumer information. “We want to give consumers and companies even more control over what can be done with their data, clarifying who can access data and on what terms,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EC’s commissioner for competition, in announcing the Data Act. Continue reading Data Act Aims to Protect EU Consumers in Smart Device Era

Doc Reveals Theory Behind Facebook’s Defiance of EU Court

Facebook continues to feud with the European Union over data transfers to the U.S., which the EU’s highest court twice prohibited. “Facebook has been ignoring EU law for 8.5 years now,” says privacy advocate Max Schrems, whose 2013 complaint against Facebook prompted the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to conclude that the U.S. did not offer sufficient protection for EU data and transfers should stop. Schrems says the social giant takes “the view that the Court of Justice is wrong — and Facebook is right. It is an unbelievable ignorance of the rule of law.” Schrems has now obtained an internal Facebook document that explains the company’s justification. Continue reading Doc Reveals Theory Behind Facebook’s Defiance of EU Court

Facebook Is Rebuffed in Bid to Block Irish High Court Ruling

Ireland’s High Court dismissed Facebook’s procedural efforts to block a draft decision of the country’s Data Protection Commission to suspend its data flow between the European Union and the United States. The European Union decision was intended to protect the privacy of European users, whose data was being sent to U.S. computer servers, and Facebook contended that the Data Protection Commission, which issued its preliminary decision in August, gave it too little time to respond. The court originally stayed the decision in September. Continue reading Facebook Is Rebuffed in Bid to Block Irish High Court Ruling

WhatsApp Updates Privacy Policy, Shares Data with Facebook

When Facebook bought the popular free messaging service WhatsApp, it promised it wouldn’t change the privacy policies. Now the company has done just that, and organizations including the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the Center for Digital Democracy are not happy. Facebook has stated it will now connect users’ phone numbers with Facebook’s systems, offering “better friend suggestions” and more relevant ads. The new approach will help Facebook finally monetize WhatsApp. Continue reading WhatsApp Updates Privacy Policy, Shares Data with Facebook

Europe and U.S. Introduce Updated Data Transfer Agreement

After months of contentious debate, American and European officials have hammered out a new trans-Atlantic data transfer agreement, dubbed the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, a formal version of an agreement made early last month. But, despite the fact that the new agreement holds companies and the U.S. government to stricter rules regarding how they move individuals’ digital data — including social media posts, search queries and e-commerce purchases — from the E.U. to the United States, not everyone is happy with the new pact. Continue reading Europe and U.S. Introduce Updated Data Transfer Agreement