EU/US safe harbor agreement under judicial review after Snowden leaks

Ireland’s data-protection authority is in charge of Facebook’s compliance with EU data-protection law because the social network owner’s European headquarters are located in Dublin. Facebook’s Irish unit is responsible for the business outside of the U.S. and Canada.

“The Snowden revelations demonstrate a massive overreach on the part of the security authorities, with an almost studied indifference to the privacy interests of ordinary citizens,” Hogan said in his decision. “Their data protection rights have been seriously compromised by mass and largely unsupervised surveillance programs.”

Facebook told the Irish authority that it only handed data to U.S. security agencies “by means of targeted requests which were properly and lawfully made,” Hogan said in the ruling. The Irish Commissioner also ruled that Facebook had “appropriate procedures” to handle such requests.

Revelations of mass surveillance by former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden may have “exposed gaping holes in contemporary U.S. data protection practice” that could undermine an accord that allows companies to transfer information to the U.S. from Europe, Irish High Court Judge Gerard Hogan said in a decision published online. The European Union’s top court should decide whether data-protection regulators can probe allegations that Facebook Inc. (FB)’s Irish unit illegally handed over data to U.S. spies, an Irish judge ruled today.

The Safe harboragreement is nothing but an agreement to be able to harbor European data in the US is anything but safe and the Snowden leaks did confirm that this way European data came without expliticit European consent European data came into the hands of US spy angency and that due process was not always followed

The firms that are not awaiting the décisions and are keeping European data in Europe are more futureproof than others.

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