Europe’s outspoken digi Commissioner, Günther H-dot Oettinger has admitted that the European Commission did too little, too late in reaction to Edward Snowden’s NSA spying revelations. Following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) striking down the EU-US data sharing Safe Harbor agreement on Tuesday, Oetti told German daily Der Spiegel that “a mandatory government agreement would be the best solution” but that he didn’t believe it was likely to happen. The second-best option is a re-negotiated arrangement, said Oettinger, for once sticking to the Commission official line. He said clarity was urgently needed for “the many medium-sized companies that are now feeling insecure”. Safe Harbor is the workaround agreement between the EU and the US that allows international companies to transfer Europeans’ personal data to the US even though the US does not meet the adequacy standards for EU data protection law. Companies signed up to a voluntary code of conduct that was then enforced by the American Federal Trade Commission (FTC). But on Tuesday, the ECJ ruled that the pact was unsound, since it cannot protect EU personal data from snooping by the US National Security Agency and other American agencies. Oettinger acknowledged that the […]
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