Between Europe and the US was the Privacy Shield: an agreement that allowed European citizens’ data to be stored in the US rather than falling into US hands. That contract disappeared at some point and had to do without for a long time. Internet companies, including social media sites, must ensure that traffic goes through European servers. That may now change: the EU and the US have jointly agreed on a new data privacy framework.
Data Privacy Framework
That data privacy framework means social media can store data on European users in the US. becomes declared: “The EU-US data privacy framework introduces new binding safeguards to address all the concerns raised by the European Court of Justice, including limiting access to EU data by US intelligence agencies and establishing a Court of Data Protection Review. (DPRC), accessible to EU citizens.
In plain language: In this deal, the US intelligence services will still not have access to the data of EU citizens. There will also be a panel to answer questions and complaints from European citizens on data protection. Europe seems very happy with it: “The new framework introduces significant improvements to the mechanism under the Privacy Shield. For example, if the DPRC finds that data was collected in violation of the new safeguards, it can order the data to be deleted.
It has now been three years since Privacy Shield was suspended by the European Court of Justice. Shield doesn’t do enough to keep users’ data away from US intelligence agencies. Its disappearance was a big problem, especially for social media companies like Meta. It suddenly became very limited with data and, according to the EU, it was not always handled properly: the US was even fined 1.2 billion euros for transferring data. The deal is also positive for Meta: it doesn’t remove the fine, but there are now fewer problems with data transfers to the US because of the new policies.
Data privacy activists are not happy with this development. They believe that little has changed compared to the Data Privacy Shield and that it is not safe for European citizens’ data.
The question now is whether this means anything for Meta’s new social media, Threads. While Meta may still see some issues in the EU, there is a good chance it will be released in the EU now. And they didn’t have to do it for the number of users: it now exceeds 100 million.
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