BRUSSELS: New European rules aimed at curbing questionable transfers of data from EU countries to the US are being finalised in Brussels in the first concrete reaction to the Edward Snowden disclosures on US and British surveillance of digital communications.
Regulations on European data protection standards are expected to pass the European parliament committee stage on Monday after political groupings agreed on a new compromise draft following two years of gridlock.
The draft would make it harder for big US Internet servers and social media providers to transfer European data to third countries, subject them to EU law rather than secret US court orders, and authorise fines running into billions for the first time for not complying with the new rules.
“As parliamentarians, as politicians, as governments we have lost control over our intelligence services. We have to get it back again,” said Jan Philipp Albrecht, the German Greens MEP steering the draft through parliament. Data privacy in the EU is under the authority of governments with standards varying across the 28 countries, complicating efforts towards satisfactory data transfer deals with the US. The current rules are easily sidestepped by the big Silicon Valley firms, Brussels argues. The Guardian