THE SAFE HARBOR arrangements designed to oversee the sharing of data between Europe and the rest of the world are invalid, according to tech industry disruptor the European Court of Human Justice.
The court, the same one that saddled Google with the Right to be Forgotten, demolished Safe Harbor during a case involving a student and Facebook.
The student is Max Schrems, a man with a keen interest in Facebook for all the right reasons. If Schrems has poked, it is the system and its privacy procedures that got his attention as opposed to a photo of a cat, some lunch, or a large round bottom.
Schrems celebrated his victory on Twitter, and thanked other privacy fighters including Edward Snowden for their part in this and other related campaigns.
Advocate General Yves Bot is apparently the man who deserves the credit, as it is his decision that Schrems is celebrating.
"After an initial review of the advocate general's opinion of more than 40 pages it seems like years of work could pay off. Now we just have to hope that the judges of the Court of Justice will follow the advocate general's opinion in principle," said Schrems in response.
"This finding has also an important impact on the negotiations between the EU and the US regarding a new 'Safe Harbor' system, as it must be now assured that the mass access of national security agencies to EU data transferred to the US needs to be definitely excluded."
In a statement given to The INQUIRER, a Facebook spokesperson said vaguely: "Facebook operates in compliance with EU Data Protection law.
"Like the thousands of other companies who operate data transfers across the Atlantic we await the full judgement."
Recently, in response to questions about the Belgian regulators and an extension of the Right to be Forgotten, it said that it was disappointed and surprised by the reception it gets from data watchdogs.
Disappointed we understand, but surprised is a bit hard to swallow. µ
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