It seems that the EU citizens might have to give up their Facebook accounts if they want to protect their online privacy.
The European Commission recently told that there were serious privacy issues concerning users’ data of EU citizens on Facebook. The Safe Harbour legislation does not provide for the protection of the data from the U.S security services including the NSA.
“You might consider closing your Facebook account, if you have one,” Schima told attorney general Yves Bot in a hearing of the case at the European court of justice in Luxembourg.
The Facebook data privacy case is what it is called and deals with the security issues of the Safe Harbour network. Safe Harbour, on the other hand is responsible for transmitting data of EU citizens outside the EU and without which it would be illegal to do so. The case has complaints against companies like Apple, Microsoft, Skype and Yahoo.
The data is not to be transmitted by EU companies considering the protections of Safe Harbour Framework. According the framework, U.S states that the laws are enough to provide proper protection while in fact this is not the case, according to The Guardian.
U.S is accused of not keeping the privacy of the citizens intact. The PRISM data collection program is the point of the argument as it is through this that the data of EU citizens has been passed onto the U.S intelligence agencies. This is a direct breach of the EU’s Direct Protection Directive standard in terms of protecting privacy which makes the Safe Harbour framework void.
Digital Rights Ireland and Poland also support Schrems saying that the Safe Harbour is not reliable and the framework goes against the Data Protection Directive. On the other hand, the commission holds the view that the framework is still not fully developed and that it is vital in terms of the political and economic significance. Thus, now the EC and Ireland state that the EC reforms the framework using a 13-point plan.
Paula Barrett who is an expert on data protection at Eversheds Law firm says that the judiciary’s intervention in data privacy issues just distorts the process. She said that the decision to abolish Safe Harbour does not have proper grounds whatsoever both politically and economically.