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Data protection in Europe: a business initiative

Privacy Provided is a business initiative for data protection in Europe. It is aimed at experts in companies in the fields of IT, compliance, data protection and law. The initiative is committed to providing information on data protection issues for companies across Europe. Privacy Provided is founded in 2021 and is supported by Max Schrems and several companies

Edward Snowden and Max Schrems live

The whistleblower Edward Snowden and the data protection activist Max Schrems discuss data protection in times of mass data surveillance by the USA. Max Schrems became well-known when is lawsuits made the EugH declare Safe Harbor and Privacy Shield invalid. Like no other, he represents data protection in the EU. Edward Snowden was an intelligence officer himself. He exposed the NSA’s extensive surveillance activities through the PRISM and other programs. The contradiction between the EU data protection general rights and the US surveillance laws is the reason why, according to the current legal situation, the processing of personal data by US service providers is not possible.

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Data protection in Europe as a competitive advantage

In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (DGSVO) and the Charter of Fundamental Rights apply Union has strict data protection law in favor of those affected. We value this as an important cultural asset. All companies worldwide must adhere to this when processing data from persons who are located in the European Union (EU) – also for the leading US companies such as Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. We therefore see European data protection as a competitive advantage and not as a scapegoat for a lack of innovation. We are fighting to ensure that the European data protection standard is valid worldwide.

Edward Snowden revealed the extent of surveillance in the US

2013, Edward Snowden unveiled US programs to monitor global Internet communications. In all constitutional states, eavesdropping options are common with a judicial decision and in the event of suspicion. The surveillance activities of the NSA, on the other hand, are much larger and resemble mass surveillance. In the meantime, this surveillance has even been legitimized by law in the USA (e.g. the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, FISA).

data protection in Europe vs. surveillance by the US

US service provider must meet two laws:

  1. As a US company applies they, for example, the FISA, which forces them to provide the data to the NSA.
  2. In the European market, the GDPR applies to you, which does not allow you to pass on the data.

The contradiction between the surveillance programs in the USA and data protection in Europe means that it is simply not possible for US service providers to be GDPR-compliant – even if they want to.

ECJ declared Safe Harbor and Privacy Shield invalid (SCHREMS I & II)

The Safe Harbor Agreement and the Commission Decision Privacy Shield legitimized the processing of personal data by US -Service provider. The Austrian lawyer and data protection activist Max Schrems criticized this fact because it contradicts the US surveillance programs. He has therefore become Europe’s best-known data protector after his lawsuits led to the European Court of Justice declaring the US / EU Safe Harbor and Privacy Shield agreements to be invalid in 2015 and 2020 respectively.

More on the Privacy Shield ruling (SCHREMS II)

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