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Published: 2015-10-30 09:17:10

In a landmark decision, the European Court of Justice has struck down the Safe Harbor agreement, which allowed US companies to transfer personal data from the European Union to the US. The ruling came in response to a legal challenge brought by Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, who argued that the agreement did not adequately protect the privacy rights of European citizens.

The Safe Harbor agreement was created in 2000 to enable companies to transfer data between the EU and the US while adhering to EU data protection laws. However, in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations about US government surveillance, many Europeans became concerned about the lack of privacy protections for their personal data when it was transferred to the US.

The European Court of Justice ruled that the Safe Harbor agreement did not provide adequate protection for European citizens’ data and that national data protection authorities had the right to investigate and suspend data transfers to the US. This decision has major implications for US tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon, which rely on data transfers from the EU to the US for their business operations.

In response to the ruling, the EU and the US have been negotiating a new agreement called the EU-US Privacy Shield. The new agreement aims to provide stronger privacy protections for European citizens’ data when it is transferred to the US. The agreement will include new data protection safeguards, such as independent oversight and stronger enforcement mechanisms.

The EU-US Privacy Shield was officially adopted in October 2015, following months of negotiations between the EU and the US. The agreement is seen as a significant step forward in protecting the privacy rights of European citizens and in ensuring that companies operating in the EU are held accountable for protecting personal data. However, some critics have raised concerns about the adequacy of the new agreement, arguing that it still does not go far enough in protecting privacy.

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