No Safe Harbor: EU privacy ruling hits Apple, Google, Facebook, others

“A major European court victory for privacy advocates raises doubts about how U.S. tech giants Apple, Alphabet-owned Google and Facebook will be able to transfer and monetize data from millions of European users,” Michele Chandler reports for Investor’s Business Daily. “The European Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that national regulators in the European Union can override the 15-year-old Safe Harbor agreement used by about 4,500 companies, saying that it violates the privacy rights of Europeans by exposing them to U.S. government surveillance.”

“Revoking the Safe Harbor agreement will ‘disrupt not just the thousands of U.S. and European companies that currently depend on the Safe Harbor to do business across the Atlantic but also the broader digital economy,’ said Daniel Castro, vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in a statement,” Chandler reports. “The ruling also puts in jeopardy the ability of U.S. tech firms to control their online advertising business in Europe, and it muddles the ability of U.S. companies to collect human resources-related data about their European staff.”

“Google, the world’s largest Internet search firm, gets 90% of its revenue from advertising. Its rivals for online and mobile advertising include Apple, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft-owned Bing,” Chandler reports. “But in the wake of whistleblower Edward Snowden, who in 2013 leaked top-secret NSA documents revealing widespread U.S. surveillance on phone and Internet communications, ‘European citizens and policymakers are understandably concerned about privacy safeguards in U.S. law,’ Castro said. He urged policymakers on both sides to hammer out an interim ‘Safe Harbor 2.0’ agreement “so that we do not shut down trans-Atlantic digital commerce overnight.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The ramifications of out-of-control, unconstitutional mass surveillance by the U.S. government continue to reverberate worldwide.


    1. While we accept rich people to behave different than ourselves, 1984 sneaked into our lives through the backdoor, by accepting shady terms of use.
      This means you give up some rights and get surveillance and a slap in return.
      –> Greed, complete lack of empathy (charity does NOT count) and of course the total lack of responsibility for employees and customers.

      It is in fact 1984, the companies will sell your health data to your insurance company and you will loose your drivers license before you can count to 3.
      Your tax rate, your health insurance fee, everything is measurable, scalable and comparable. This is 1984.

      “Good morning America!” (Robin Williams on the Mic;) r.i.p.

      Nuts nuts nuts. So why don’t we all turn off the TV for a while. For a month? Do something good for your neighbor.

      That will be enough for the beginning †

      1.  works great without TC. Some dignity on top of the global tech player would be adequate, in terms of humanity and neighborhood.

        Being gay is just not enough to stay on top, sorry Timmy.
        Bye bye. But you never need to work again, isn’t that great ?

        We love you and don’t you forget it.

        1. I’m not exactly sure where your head is at, but I have a good idea the sun doesn’t shine in there, which would actually explain this blind ignorance you exhibit.

          Since Tim Cook took over, Apple has increased its responsibility, ownership and furthered public awareness of issues around the world including, environment, worker rights/conditions, individual equality, charity contributions, user privacy, etc. All the while they continue to INCREASE their revenue year after year.

          Not only that, he has led Apple to become a much more cohesive and cooperative company both within and with partnering companies. You may not like some things they are doing, but the company is in a much better position today than it ever has. And only looks as if it will continue to grow.

          1. Under Cook’s leadership, Apple also needlessly opposed individual conscience, meddled in dramatic fashion in state’s rights issues, and general strutted around like a prissified know-it-all.

            I know you don’t understand because you cannot understand freedom for people who disagree with you politically.

            1. “you cannot understand freedom for people who disagree with you politically.”

              Uh, As far as I’m concerned anyone is free to believe whatever they want, politically, religiously, or philosophically. But if they’re going to express their opinion on a public message board, they (and YOU) should expect an opposing opinion.

      2. I appreciate your thoughts on this topic.

        Although I am missing the “failure to render assistance” topic on your comment.

        Time makes a City like NY a place where we have to ignore victims, because the subway needs to leave on time. just like the book/movie 1984 (George O).

        Money enslaves us all, tendency is not optimistic. Just like 1984.

        Technology, once invented to help customers, turns out to be an instrument of control. Just like 1984.

        Wake up.

        The truth is only covered by misinformation of media that is financed by the corporate regime to not tell the whole truth, just to protect us. Just like 1984.

        We are all very social, but FB failed so desperately to channel our human needs.

        Just like 1984. And tinder is not the answer.

         became too evil imo, the day they started to betray us. Must have been in 2012. A bribe is a bribe.

    2. What I would be interested to know is how to get my Apple (etc) data onto EU servers so my own government can’t spy on me.

      (Yes my devices would still talk to the EU servers, but that connection would be encrypted.)

      Snowden for the win. This ruling would not have happened without him.

    3. The old world needs to educate the new world tech kings in terms of humanity (which of course includes dignity and freedom of speech and health insurance and a fucking phone in your pocket.)

      What a great story, that will be definitely abused in the media. This is a true fairytale, a gay guy who needs a pope smack, a truly awesome rich CEO that needs a santa smack in the face.

      Being evil = failure to render assistance.

      Responsibility comes with that gigantic power. Show it. Just show to the world how much you care about human beings, even if they are not gay.

      It is not only about privacy, it is about reliability and being honest and fair to your (margin solid) customers.

      We gave you our money, but the products are getting more and more useless everyday, because time is on your side.

      Shame, if you cant dance to.

      1. Oh, so you want CEOs to have CHARACTER? Funny, but those problems wouldn’t exist if people cared more about character, and demanded it first from themselves, and then others. And this character that you care about — wonder where it should be taught?

        PS. Better go visit Europe while you can. It’ll be Eurabia soon.

    1. Apparently you didn’t read the article or the summary.

      The reason Google, etc., are being blocked from bringing in data from EU customers is because they are vulnerable to US Govt surveillance, which violates the customers expectation of privacy.

      This is progress!

  1. Bush started it, but Obama owns this.

    Thank you for making a mess out of a trillion-dollar industry.

    We gave up fundamental constitutional rights, and got absolutely nothing in return.

    Was it worth it?

      1. You can thank the awful Citizens United ruling for furthering the entrenched power that non-elected corporate powers have over the government in the USA. USA is not a corporatocracy, not a republic of the people.

        Bravo to the democracies in Europe for getting this right.

            1. Is that what you think the US Constitution guarantees you? If you have more money than someone else, you get to essentially drown out dissenting voices with money? Or if you are a corporate executive, you get to spend corporate funds for your own private lobbying goals?

              In what world is this considered democratic? If you want to live in an oligarchy, then join Putin’s gang. If you want to live in the USA, try reading up on the real meaning of the Constitution.

        1. Actually, the government power is the power that is dangerous. Only the government can spy on you and even target a drone to kill you. Only the government can seize the house of a baker who simply wants to observe their religious freedom, leaving the baker homeless. Only the government can condone the killing of unborn and born babies so their bodies can be chopped up and sold for profit. Only the government can seize your house if you don’t pay your taxes, or they claim you haven’t because you are not of the right political party. The Founders warned of the danger of out of control central government. We are right now seeing that danger rise and threaten us more and more every day. We have a lawless government right now.

          1. You are 100% correct. When the government has exceeded its lawful bounds, then nothing can stop it except the people in mass. Unfortunately, before that happens, a lot of individuals will be harmed and/or killed, and we are already seeing that.

            They act as though no videos had been released showing Planned Parenthood selling infant bodies for money.

            They act as though the state had a right to force someone to participate in homosexual “marriage” ceremonies by creating things that express particular viewpoints.

            They act as though the government had never and is not currently harassing people through the EPA.

            They act as though the IRS had never held up nonprofit groups’ requests for exemption in order to win an election, and had never audited those whom it despised.

            Please, if this is news to you, do not vote. Leave voting to the informed.

        2. Citizens United was a court case about a company, Citizens United, that wanted to run political ads. Now, due to that ruling, companies can indeed run ads (as can labor unions) and are not ruled by campaign expenditure laws. It was always a silly situation – why can’t companies choose to advertise?

          Again, and again, it is people who can be bought that are the problem, not money, not business. Take your socialist rhetoric and shove it.

    1. Eisenhower told us all what would happen if corporate foxes were allowed unfettered access to the henhouse. It has all come to pass — everything is a “war” and corporations have no real accountability except superficial public shame when they truly screw everyone over. Who was put behind bars for the real estate scam that broke in 2008? Nobody. Who regulates Wall Street? Nobody. Corporations own D.C., which is why US democratic processes haven’t worked for decades and the fiscal foundation of the USA continues to crumble. Since 2001 corporate entities have used security as an excuse to snoop on everyone and collect personal data without any restrictions. Airports have been turned into minimum-security prisons. The internet is a cesspool of trackers and obnoxious advertising and extremist propaganda intended primarily to either dumb down the citizen into a stupid consumer or to agitate them into irrational paranoia. No terrorist organization could do more harm than what corporations have done to the populace in the doublespeak name of security (“Patriot Act”, TSA, etc). Corporate greed run amok. Don’t blame “guv’mint”. You elected these corporate puppets. Vote them out, both parties.

      1. Its is not the company, there are some C-People who are in charge to control the companies, but they are just smiling about how fierce their creatures get because of their leadership.
        Everything turns into shit, if only the amount of something good gets large enough.

        The rich folks will always applause to this evil race.*

        Wall Street proofs me right.

        *Analogies to prior historical events are pure coincidence.

    2. Seriously, if you think they’ve only been spying on us from Bush forward you are mistaken . Ever heard of J. Edgar Hoover?
      Since the invention of the telephone they have been using information to “protect” their way. Here, there and everywhere else. Saying Bush or Obama are to blame is really giving both of them too much credit.

      1. Yes there were abuses of spying on individuals who should have been left alone. But most people were not being spied on.

        Now they are systematically spying on everyone.

        Its a higher level of corruption and loss of freedom now.

      2. Before the Bush era, there was not much a normal person did that could be spied on.

        Telephone conversations were expensive to monitor. They only were tapped for legal reasons, or if you were an enemy of someone powerful, like a J. Edgar Hoover).

        1. If Congress (Legislature) passes a law that encroaches on citizens’ constitutional rights, then the president (Chief Executive) tells his departments not to enforce the law that the Legislature and their corporate cronies wanted, what stops the corporate cronies from continuing to operate their data-snooping operations without the aid of the Executive branch?

          Until the bad law is repealed, bad actors will continue to profit from it. I blame Obama as much as Bush for signing the legislation, but I don’t think the president can be blamed for his inability to stop the law’s effect, even with an executive order. Besides, the traitorous military-industrial corporate lapdog congressmen (both D and R) who pushed through the Patriot Act, the TSA, and other repressive measures are just doing the bidding of defense contractors who are prime actors in running up obscene fiscal deficit. Fire them all.

  2. I don’t see how Apple is lumped in with Google, Facebook, and other user data-mining companies that monetize their “free” services by selling this data to anyone willing to pay for it (including advertisers) …

    This is positive news for Apple since it is obvious that they do value privacy, and do not/can not share data with the US Government, by design. Apple 1 – Others 0

  3. Sad. Let’s point at the source of this problem:

    NSA… 👈👈👈👈👈

    If only they’d have stuck to following the US Constitution and international treaties. Ramification. Consequence. Aftermath. Outcome. Eventuality.

  4. “A major European court victory for privacy advocates raises doubts about how U.S. tech giants Apple, Alphabet-owned Google and Facebook will be able to transfer and monetize data from millions of European users,”

    What a link bait of an article. Since when has Apple wanted to monetize its customers data? Lumping Apple in with Google and Facebook? What a click-whore.

  5. In my experience, that is not even what safe harbor is about. In my company, it is more about not talking about our future planned products, or improvements on our products planned for the future, and buying our product based on what it is capable of doing today. It has nothing to do with a customer’s information, but more unreleased product information.

  6. Way to go Europe. Ah finally some karma from some of the free and civilized world. There needs to be more standing up to this wannabe bully nation or they’ll even trash hospitals. Oh wait a minute….

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