Europe’s position on data protection: The story of a huge gap between ideal and reality

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It is not always easy to see a clear line in the difficult relationship Europe maintains with its core values and data protection policies. The current development aims to point out contradictions on the European fight for increased data protection and to give a sense of responsibility to our governments when it comes to protecting democracy and fundamental rights. But first, let’s start off with something positive. The EU Court of Justice rendered a remarkable decision on October 6th 2015, invalidating the Safe Harbor principles. The Safe Harbor Privacy Principles allow US companies to register their certification if they meet the European Union requirements in order to transfer and process data collected from Europe to the United States. Facebook, Google and many more depend on this certification as under European law, companies are not allowed to send personal data to countries outside the European Economic Area unless they guarantee adequate levels of protection. Continue reading

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