For the past two weeks, the officials of the United States (US) have been grilling the video-sharing mobile application TikTok and other China-based tech giants over the concerns surrounding the data security of the US nationals who use these applications, not to mention the national security implications of these applications’ alleged allegiance to the government of China. Now it is looking like the US-based tech giants are also having that same level of scrutiny lobbed right back in their direction.
The Court Justice of the European Union—the authority who is responsible for making sure that the laws of Europe are equally applied across its twenty-seven member countries—nullified the rules that allowed the US-based tech companies like Facebook and Google to freely process and store any data from Europe using the America-based servers.
According to a report, the main reason behind the new ruling is close to a word-for-word copy of the same kind of government surveillance anxieties surrounding the foreign app crackdown currently being contemplated in the United States (US).
The Court Justice of the European Union, in its ruling, explains that they first caught wind of these issues thanks to a lawsuit filed back in 2015. According to the details, back in 2015, a complaint had filed by an Austrian named Maximillian Schrem with the local authorities in which he mentioned that the data from his Facebook account was largely processed and stored by the Facebook servers located in the US, with no way to actually opt-out of this sort of data storage.
Initially, the court disagreed with Schrem while saying that “US ensured an adequate level of protection, ” evidently, they have come to terms with the fact that the United States of America (US) do not actually provide very much protection at all. Over the past few years, we have siphoned off data from the social media giant including Facebook and Twitter alike to surveil people at the protests, not to mention what we have seen handed off to the likes of Homeland Security, all in a way that is virtually impossible to opt-out of.
It has been decided by the European courts that pulling these types of moves can be considered a violation of the promises US-bases companies have been making to protect the data under GDPR. As a result, they’ve decided to roll-back the “Privacy Shield” agreements they held with the United States (US) to transfer the personal data of the citizens of the EU abroad since they were introduced back in 2016.