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Photo: AP
Photo: AP

EU court bans privacy shield data-transfer pact

The decision means Facebook and thousands of companies that ship commercial data across the Atlantic risk turmoil in their day to day activities

The EU’s top court issued a stinging rebuke of U.S. surveillance, striking down the so-called Privacy Shield, a key method to transfer data across the Atlantic.

Thursday’s decision means Facebook Inc. and thousands of companies that ship commercial data across the Atlantic risk turmoil in their day to day activities. Still, the court did approve another system to transfer data known as called Standard Contractual Clauses.

“The limitations on the protection of personal data arising from the domestic law of the United States on the access and use by U.S. public authorities such data transferred from the European Union" mean EU citizens data isn’t safe, the EU Court of Justice said in a decision on Thursday. The ruling can’t be appealed.

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield was adopted in 2016 to replace another pact known as the Safe Harbor, that was also torpedoed by Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems.

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