EU court cancels US data-sharing pact over snooping concerns

EU court cancels US data-sharing pact over snooping concerns
In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo an iPhone displays the apps for Facebook and Messenger in New Orleans. The European Union's top court ruled Thursday, July 16, 2020 that an agreement that allows big tech companies to transfer data to the United States is invalid, and that national regulators need to take tougher action to protect the privacy of users' data. It will no longer simply be assumed that tech companies like Facebook will adequately protect the privacy of its European users' data when it sends it to the U.S. Rather, the EU and U.S. will likely have to find a new agreement that guarantees that Europeans' data is afforded the same privacy protection in the U.S. as it is in the EU, which has some of the toughest standards in the world. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

The European Union's top court ruled Thursday that an agreement that allows thousands of companies—from tech giants to small financial firms—to transfer data to the United States is invalid because the American government can snoop on people's data.

The ruling to invalidate like Huawei. It highlights the growing importance of data as the basis of modern business and politics globally.

Data drives much of the world's biggest companies, like Facebook, Google, Alibaba and Amazon, and is also prized for national security to prevent extremist attacks, for example. Mining large sets of people's data has also become crucial to winning elections, such as the use of Facebook data for Donald Trump's presidential victory in 2016.

Alexandre Roure, a at Computer & Communications Industry Association, said the decision "creates legal uncertainty for the thousands of large and small companies on both sides of the Atlantic that rely on Privacy Shield for their daily commercial data transfers.

"We trust that EU and U.S. decision-makers will swiftly develop a sustainable solution, in line with EU law, to ensure the continuation of data flows which underpins the trans-Atlantic economy."

EU court cancels US data-sharing pact over snooping concerns
In this Oct. 5, 2015 file photo, a man walks by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The European Union's top court ruled Thursday, July 16, 2020 that an agreement that allows big tech companies to transfer data to the United States is invalid, and that national regulators need to take tougher action to protect the privacy of users' data. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)

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