Privacy Shield Replaces Safe Harbour, Will it work?

Mathew Sayer In the News

Trade between the United States and the EU is a cornerstone of the global economy. Combined it accounts for 60% of global GDP. The growing fortunes of Bezos and Zuckerberg depend on a happy relationship between these two. In case you’ve been going full hermit for the last decade, Facebook and their ilk make their money selling your personal data to the people your mother warned you about- advertisers and marketers. During 2015 Facebook made $17.08 billion (yep, b) from advertising revenues and in return, you got fat and depressed.

Sillycon Valley CEO’s who want cash right now are best off forgetting about the next five billion; Europe is the big disposable income cash cow. Up until recently, it was very easy for companies across the Atlantic to drink the European data milkshake thanks to the Safe Harbour Framework. Safe Harbour was meant to guarantee that data belonging to EU citizens would be as safe as it is in Europe with their human rights and what not.

Safe Harbour is evolving…

Safe Harbour has been around since 2000, but I bet you can guess which punk is responsible for messing up the sweet ‘one stop shop’ deal. Edward Snowdenhands. Last year a court judgement led by Yves Bots, Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), ruled that Europes Safe Harbour agreement was illegal because of PRISM, which purportedly allows the NSA access to the data we’ve been shovelling into the servers of Facebook et al.

“The Member States shall provide that the transfer to a third country of personal data which are undergoing processing or are intended for processing after transfer may take place only if, without prejudice to compliance with the national provisions adopted pursuant to the other provisions of this Directive, the third country in question ensures an adequate level of protection. “ (CJEU)

Safe Harbour evolved into Privacy Shield!

The ruling has been two years in the making. Europe’s answer is Privacy Shield, the Safe Harbour replacement. Vice-President of the EC, Andrus Ansip, is hyped about the new deal because businesses are the one’s making sure they’re up to scratch. Self-governance and certification worked really well during Safe Harbour; 10% of the companies involved bluffed their membership last time around.

Forget those concerns about PRISM. The EC has a guarantee that Privacy Shield will be more than just a piece of paper. U.S. authorities have given a ‘strong commitment’ that they won’t be spying. What a geg. Intelligence community officials lie to their government and people. Imagine the colossal fibs told to the European Union!

Right of Redress

One new revelation is that European Union citizens will have a Right to Redress in US courts. An independent ombudsperson mechanism will facilitate this. While governments are trying to bring intelligence agencies back into the fold. I don’t think it is going to work through legal action alone. Views on risk must shift if societies are to become free from surveillance. National security trumps all. Outside the echo chamber/network, it will continue to do so.