BRUSSELS—Over the weekend, negotiators from the European Union’s executive body, and the US Federal Trade Commission worked frantically to thrash out a deal to allow transatlantic data transfers to take place. But the so-called Safe Harbour 2.0 is far from a done deal.
So how did we get here? Two men are essentially responsible: Edward Snowden, and Max Schrems.
The whole world knows only too well about the whistleblowing exploits of Snowden, who infamously exposed the US National Security Agency’s PRISM spying operation. What Austrian privacy campaigner Schrems went on to do with that information, once it became public in 2013, is logical but impressive in its scale. Schrems—then a law student in his mid-20s—looked at the companies accused of leaking personal information to the NSA, and decided to file an official complaint about the misuse of his personal data by Facebook.
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