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In Europe-U.S. Clash on Privacy, a Longstanding Schism


The new agreement for the transfer of digital data internationally, between the U.S. and Europe, has been at a deadlock for two years because both sides are blaming each other. Legal questions have been raised for companies such as Facebook and Google due to the safe harbor agreement. The safe harbor agreement in Europe allowed for the flow of information across the Atlantic. The safe harbor agreement is also a 15-year-old agreement. The official have been in intense negotiations about the deal for two years now.

Officials say, “a new agreement world most likely reduce much of the legal uncertainty arising from the court’s landmark ruling.” There is no estimated time for when the new agreement will be established, but officials say that it is near. There have been disagreements over “national intelligence agencies’ access to people’s online data.” American officials say they are waiting for the European Commission because they have to deal with the consequences of the privacy ruling. Whereas European officials want provisions in the new deal that “allows American Intelligence agencies access to European data for national security reasons.”

These provisions and the new deal agreement is going to affect how companies like Google and Pfizer handle online data. Social media sites, Facebook and Twitter are at stake, along with Apple and Amazon because they use the data to cater to someone’s web surfing. American officials have fined several companies for not protections online data. Agencies are saying that Europe has yet to consider the American privacy safeguard improvements in two years.

The privacy of Europeans cannot be guaranteed until they bring legal cases where their data was misused in the U.S. Officials want to limit the transparency of American Intelligence Agencies’ access to European citizen’s data when it is outside of the Union.

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