EU and US organisations welcome the European Court of Justice Safe Harbor Ruling

Last week’s momentous ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which declared safe harbor invalid under EU’s data protection and fundamental rights laws, saw an outpour of support from our members. US organisations in particular applauded the ECJ decision and called on their government to urgently enact comprehensive data protection legislation to ensure the fundamental right to privacy for individuals in both the U.S and EU.

Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy pointed out that:

 “The message to America from the EU is clear:  enact comprehensive privacy legislation.  It has to meet (and should try and exceed) the high bar set by the EU.  

 Safe Harbor cannot be fixed without the U.S. enacting comprehensive privacy legislation that brings it in sync with the EU.  The time to do so is way best due.”

 Consumer Federation of America’s Susan Grant explained:

 “We support cross-border trade and we don’t want to stop the flow of data that is necessary to provide us with products and services. What we need are strong privacy protections in the US and effective remedies when our privacy rights are violated. […] It’s time to get serious about privacy in the US.”

 On the European side Monique Goyens of BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation commented:

 “There is a clear message in today’s judgement. Data protection laws need to be respected and enforced regardless if the company handling our data is European or US-based. The European Court of Justice rightfully reminded national authorities of their duty not to dodge this responsibility.”

Statements were also issued by European Digital Rights (EDRi) in Brussels, Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) in Washington, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in San Francisco and Privacy International in London.

 To read all the statements of TACD member organizations, please follow the links below:

– BEUC press release: Historic victory for Europeans’ personal data rights

– Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) statement: Safe Harbor on Data Declared Illegal: Message to U.S: Time to Enact Privacy Law that Protects Americans and Supports Global Data Protection

– Consumer Federation of America (CFA) blog post: Wake Up Call for the US on Privacy

– Consumer Watchdog press release: Consumer Watchdog Welcomes EU High Court Ruling Invalidating Data Transfer Deal

– European Digital Rights (EDRi) statement: Fifteen years late, Safe Harbor hits the rocks

– Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) blog post: No Safe Harbor: How NSA Spying Undermined U.S. Tech and Europeans’ Privacy

– Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) statement: European Court Strikes Down “Safe Harbor,” Focus Shifts to Adequacy of US Privacy Laws

– Open Rights Group press release: Open Rights Group welcomes CJEU Safe Harbor ruling

– Privacy International (PI) statement: There is no Safe Harbour from U.S. Authorities

– Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (vzbv) statement: Europäischer Gerichtshof kippt Safe Harbor (in German)

 Also check out quotes by TACD members in international press:

– EPIC, PI and CDD letters featured in the New York Times: Digital Privacy, in the U.S. and Europe

– Quote by CDD in Financial Times: Tech companies count cost of losing their ‘safe harbour’

– Quote by PI in Wired: Thank (Or Blame) Snowden for Europe’s Big Privacy Ruling