Summary of online privacy (click through for bigger image if you need to)
Privacy campaigners have given an angry thumbs down anger to the newly published "Privacy Shield" agreement on data privacy betwen the USA and European Union. The Privacy Shield agreement which covers the privacy of data related to EU citizens held on US servers by multinational companies has been under negotiation for months ever since the because the European Court of Justice ruled in October 2015 that the previous EU-US data agreement — Safe Harbor — was invalid.
The issue arises from the strict EU laws — enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — to the privacy of citizens personal data. As we all know thanks to the material leaked by Ed Snowden and others the United States National Security Agency (NSA) does not regard anything as private, and in collaboration with internet and technology giants like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook and Verizon (just a small selection there) have been exploiting specially created software 'postern gates' to plunder data from users computers.
Safe Harbor was a quasi-judicial understanding that the US government would ensure that EU citizens' data on US servers would be held and protected under the same restrictions as it would be under EU law and directives. The data covers a huge array of information — from Internet and communications usage, to sales transactions, import and exports.
When Maximillian Schrems, a Facebook user, filed a complaint with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, arguing that "in the light of the revelations by ex-CIA contractor Edward Snowden of mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA)" the transfer of data from Facebook's Irish subsidiary onto the company's servers in the US do not provide sufficient protection of his personal data.
The court ruled that "the Safe Harbor Decision denies the national supervisory authorities their powers where a person calls into question whether the decision is compatible with the protection of the privacy and of the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals."
In a swift reaction to the publication of the new data privacy protocol, Schrems said:
"The new deal does not even address the matter of private sector data misuse, despite the fact that there would have been much more leeway than in the government sector. There are tiny improvements, but the core rules on private data usage are miles away for EU law. This is nowhere close to 'essential equivalence' that the Court required."
"Basically the US openly confirms that it violates EU fundamental rights in at least six cases. The Commission claims that there is no 'mass surveillance' anymore. It used to be the other way around. This charade is not only bluntly in conflict with the law and the Court judgement but also with the documents the Commission presented".
Anna Fielder, chair of Privacy International said:
"It's still a half-baked agreement. The [proposed] ombudsman is based in the US equivalent of the Foreign Office. We don't know what kind of independence it will have. The [European Court of Justice in its October ruling] demanded an independent authority and this is scarcely independent. How do I know that my data has been abused?"
It is typical of the United states government of course to break deals, violate legally binding agreements and stab its allies in the back. The current US President is a wannabe God - King who reularly wipes his arse on his counry's consitiution, so how can we expevt civil servants to act any differently.
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