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    EU Surrenders to US, Tech Industry Lobbyists on Data Privacy Safeguards

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    Privacy activist Max Schrems said that he EU-US Privacy Shield is not a written legally binding contract but a set of aims outlined in letters that amount to nothing more than a "political agreement."

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The new Privacy Shield data transfer agreement between the United States and the European Union (EU) will not provide sufficient safeguards to protect users because Brussels surrendered to technology industry and US lobbyists, privacy activist Max Schrems told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    "The EU seems to have basically ‘given in’ to the pressure and lobbying by member states, the industry and the United States," Schrems said when asked if the deal contains sufficient safeguards to protect customer data.

    On Tuesday, the European Commission said that Brussels and Washington had agreed on a new data transfer deal regulating information flows across the Atlantic.

    The Privacy Shield will substitute the EU-US Safe Harbor agreement of 2000, which the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidated in October 2015, ruling that it lacked adequate personal data protection.

    Schrems added that the EU-US Privacy Shield is not a written legally binding contract but a set of aims outlined in letters that amount to nothing more than a "political agreement."

    "This overall is only delaying a solution at the expense of legal certainty for businesses and protection of privacy of customers," Schrems noted.

    The EU-US data transfer pact, Schrems claimed, will likely go back to the European Court of Justice, where it will be struck down just like the old Safe Harbor deal.

    According to the European Commission, the new EU-US data transfer deal imposes stronger obligations on US companies to protect the personal data of European users.

    The US National Security Agency (NSA) had worked closely with Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Verizon and other major telecom and tech firms to spy on individuals and governments, according to documents released in mid-2013 by NSA contractor Edward Snowden.


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