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