By now, you have no doubt heard that the European Union’s highest court today invalidated the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Program. The European Court of Justice overturned the European Commission’s 15 year old decision finding that the privacy principles of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor provide an adequate level of protection of the data of EU citizens. Among other things, the court cited concerns that the data may be subject to U.S. government surveillance.
This ruling is very unsettling, as our initial reading is that this decision gives the EU member nations the power to act against companies even if they are safe harbor certified; however, the emerging wisdom is that EU countries won’t act immediately (allowing some time for the bureaucrats to forge a solution and allow commerce between the U.S. and E.U. to continue unabated).
We will have a more comprehensive analysis to share shortly.