2/11/16 Data Privacy
The U.S. and the European Union have a new agreement on data privacy. The issue is data storage by giant U.S. technology companies such as Facebook, Google and others.
U.S. companies prefer data stored on their own servers. But EU laws require the data to be stored on European servers. This is because the EU has stricter laws than the US when it comes to protecting personal data.
This bears repeating.
The EU has stricter laws than the US when it comes to protecting personal data.
Under the new agreement, the U.S. will not conduct indiscriminate mass surveillance of the data on as many as 500 million Europeans thatâ€™s stored on U.S. servers.
Hereâ€™s the irony.
This so-called â€œprivacy shieldâ€ agreement bans mass surveillance and establishes an ombudsman program. Europeans who believe their data is at risk can use the ombudsman to represent their interests.
There is no equivalent for Americans. In fact, federal law treats data such as email, calendars and location data older than 180 days as â€œabandoned.â€ This allows data to be searched and email read without a warrant.
This underscores that mass surveillance is less about protecting the US from foreign adversaries and is more about keeping tabs on American citizens.