In today's judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union annulled an agreement reached in 2016 between the European Union and the United States to ensure the proper transatlantic processing of user data of EU citizens. The Privacy Shield Convention thus failed to live up to its expectations in much the same way as its immediate predecessor, Safe Harbor, which had previously been challenged in court by the same Austrian activist who also brought the current lawsuit.
Safe Harbor and its successor , the core of the problem with the creation of Privacy Shield is that the U.S. legal system extends constitutional rights only to U.S. citizens, everyone else falls under one hat, and is given no protection against data collection. This means that local state security agencies and government institutions currently have wide access to the data of EU citizens stored in America, and take advantage of the opportunities. This practice has been condemned by a European Court of Justice ruling that Safe Harbor (despite an earlier declaration by the European Commission) does not provide adequate protection for EU citizens' personal data and has therefore annulled it.
A further parallel between the then judgment and the present judgment is that, in addition to the applicant's identity, it has been established, based on essentially the same data processing practices, that the agreement is not sufficient to properly process EU citizens' personal data overseas. Thus, the Luxembourg District Court has now focused on what kind of personal data concerning EU citizens is transferred by its Irish subsidiary to the California parent company and exactly how it does so.
The court also ruled that the Commission's 2010/87 It remains in force – this prescribes the general contractual conditions under which service providers are allowed to transfer personal data to third country processors. Following today's ruling by the European Court of Justice, the United States and the European Union must conclude another agreement, this time an unequivocal guarantee that the personal data of EU citizens will enjoy the same protection in the United States as that of American citizens.
Gellert is Technology Editor at Counting News Media and contributor at other major tech publications. Her interests includes testing new gadgets and reading.