Headline Nov 13, 2015/ ''' ! PRIVACY ]... & ...[ BRIDGES ? '''

''' ! PRIVACY ]... & ...[ BRIDGES ? '''

GREAT TURBULENT ANXIETY exists. The cause for all this? The decision some weeks ago by Europe's highest court to strike down a 15-year old international agreement, known as safe harbor-

That allowed companies to move digital information like people's web search histories between the European Union and the United States.

The ruling has left businesses like Facebook and Google, which rely on the easy transfer of  online information to make money from digital advertising, on uneasy legal footing.

A new  'Safe Harbor'   agreement between Europe and the United States could help ease some of that uncertainty, but negotiators have been unable to reach a new deal for the last two years.

And in a sign of increased tension, European privacy regulators say they will start to enforce tougher oversight of data transfers, including issuing fines and banning overseas data transfers, by the end of January if a new agreement is not reached.

Yet despite the uncertainty, a group leading global privacy experts says government officials in Europe and America should use the ruling to their advantage-

As a way to create better cooperation between the agencies. The group whose project is called  Privacy Bridges, was to publish recommendations on a later day, that would offer regulators a series of specific steps to help officials work better together.

''We should never waste a good crisis.'' said Jacob Kohnstamm, a member of the group and the data protection regulator in the Netherlands. ''We're trying to make things a little less onerous with these practical steps.''

In particular, the group wants greater cooperation between Europe's privacy regulators and the Federal Trade Commission, the American agency primarily incharge in charge of data protection issues.

Such collaboration could reduce misunderstandings on each region's stance toward privacy, build trust between global regulators and share the best ways to handle new tech trends like cloud computing, according to the group. 

''It seems like the European court just pulled the plug on the whole thing,'' said Mr. Weitzner, who now leads the  M.I.T. Cybersecurity  and Internet Policy Research Initiative, in reference to the recent legal decision. ''We felt a sense of urgency; we needed to move things forward.

Despite these efforts, companies are still struggling to find ways to stay on the right side of Europe's tough privacy rules.    

Some American cloud computing companies for instance, have contacted European rivals in efforts to reduce their legal risks when providing online services
within the 28 member block.

That could involve American tech companies transferring legal responsibility  -and data-  of their European users to local cloud computing competitors, which already comply with the region's tough privacy rules.

''People who wouldn't give us the time of the day are now pursuing us,'' said James Kinsella, an American entrepreneur who runs Zettabox, a cloud computing company whose data is held only within Europe.

On the day of the court's decision, Microsoft, which is in a fight with the United States government over attempts to seize a customer's data stored in Ireland, also filed a letter to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, citing the European privacy rulings as grounds for not sharing the user's information with the American authorities.

Microsoft's lawyers said the court's decision showed the company would violate European privacy law if it moved individuals' personal data to the United States without sufficient guarantees in place.

And the company is considering additional data centers in Europe to serve its users in the regions, in part as response to the court's recent privacy policy, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.

''Individual should not lose their fundamental rights simply because their personal information crosses a border,'' Bradford L.Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, said in a blog post,

''This aspect underlies every aspect of the European court's decision, and it makes sense.'' 

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Europe. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society:

''' Privacy Affairs '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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