Thursday , 21 February 2019
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Safe harbour rules do not protect citizens' data – EC lawyer

Safe harbour rules do not protect citizens' data – EC lawyer

A European Commission attorney has warned EU citizens that if they want to keep information private from US security services, they should close their Facebook accounts because current safe harbour legislation does not protect EU citizens’ data, the Guardian reports. “You might consider closing your Facebook account, if you have one,” said EC attorney Bernard Schima to attorney general Yves Bot in the hearing of a case brought by privacy campaigner Maximilian Schrems, who has sued Ireland at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for not blocking the sharing of his private data with US authorities. The European Commission could not confirm in court that safe harbour rules provide sufficient protection for citizens’ data.

The Guardian writes that Poland and a few other member states as well as advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland have joined Schrems in arguing that the safe harbour framework cannot ensure the EU citizens’ data protection and therefore is in violation of the data protection directive. The EC argued that safe harbour is politically and economically necessary and is still a work in progress. The EC and the Irish data protection authority argue that the EC should be left to reform it with a 13-point plan to ensure the privacy of EU citizens’ data. An opinion on the safe harbour framework from the ECJ is expected by 24 June. Facebook would not comment on the matter.

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