“American and European officials failed on Sunday to reach an agreement over how digital data — including financial information and social media posts — could be transferred between the two regions,” Mark Scott reports for The New York Times.

“Despite last-minute talks, the two sides remained far apart on specific details required to approve a comprehensive deal,” Scott reports. “Without an agreement, companies that regularly move data, including tech giants like Google and nontech companies like General Electric, could find themselves in murky legal waters. European and American officials had until Sunday evening to meet a deadline set by Europe’s national privacy agencies, some of which have promised aggressive legal action if the current negotiations founder. Those agencies will publish their own judgment on how data can be moved safely between the two regions on Wednesday.”

“The rules governing the transfer of online data have become a vital issue for many businesses. Facebook and Google, for example, use the information to help tailor the advertisements that are central to their businesses,” Scott reports. “Any company — large or small — that transfers information between the two regions may face legal challenges. But the most likely targets for litigation, privacy advocates say, are large American tech giants like Google and Facebook that rely so heavily on people’s data. Several consumer groups plan to file complaints about how companies transfer data as soon as Monday, arguing that people’s rights are not upheld when information is moved to the United States.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Snowden’s revelations, including U.S. government spying on European leaders, certainly bogged down this Safe Harbor agreement.