From today’s New York Times:
Companies are scrambling. American and European lawmakers are upset. And no one really knows how to respond.
The cause of the anxiety? The decision two weeks ago by Europe’s highest court to strike down a 15-year-old international agreement, known as safe harbor, that had allowed companies to move digital information like people’s web search histories between the European Union and the United States.
The ruling has left businesses like Facebook and Google, which rely on the easy transfer of online information to make money from digital advertising, on uneasy legal footing.
A new safe harbor agreement between Europe and the United States could help ease some of that uncertainty, but negotiators have been unable to reach a new deal for two years.
And in a sign of increased tension, European privacy regulators say they will start to enforce tougher oversight of data transfers, including issuing fines and banning overseas data transfers, by the end of January if a new agreement is not reached.