EU citizens have be warned by the European Commission to leave Facebook and close their accounts unless they want their privitae information available to US security services. The Sagee Habour Labour legistlation actually does not cover and protect citezens data.
Bernhard Schima, EC attourney leading a case for campaigner Maximilian Schrems made the statement whilist investigating whether data of EU citizens would be considered safe if sent to the US.
“You might consider closing your Facebook account, if you have one,” said Schima to the attorney general Yves Bot during a hearing of the case heald at the European court of justice which is based in Luxembourg.
The commission were actually unable to confirm to the court that adequate protection was in place to protect the data of EU citizens under the Safe Harbour rules.
This case is currently being labelled “the Facebook data privacy case” and is of great concern to the Safe harbour Framework which actually covers any communication of EU citizens’ data to the US. If the Framework, it would actually be in breech of EU law to communicate private data away from the EU. The case involves complaints that have been made against Facebook, Apple and Yahoo.
Schrems has stated that any company that operates outside of the EU should not be permitted to communicate Data across to the US and any transfer of citezens data would be a breach of the Safe Harbour protections. The Protection clearly states that US data protection rules are ok only if adequate information is handed over by companies on a “self-certify” basis due to the fact that the US does no longer qualify for this status.
The hearing saw the case argue that the US government’s Prism data collection programme which was presented by Edward Snowden in the NSA files. This saw that Data on EU Citezens which was held by US companies such as Facebook, Yahoo and Skype was actually passed on to US intelligence agencies. This was a clear breach of the EUs Data Protection Directive “adequacy” standard for privacy protection which means that Safe Harbour framework did not apply.
Some EU countries such as Poland have allignbed with Schrems in contesting that Harbour framework does not confirm protection of EU citizens’ data which violates the two articles of the Data Protection Directive.
You can read more on the case http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/26/leave-facebook-snooped-on-warns-eu-safe-harbour-privacy-us
An opinion on the Safe Harbour framework is expected from ECJ on the 24th June