European Court of Justice Issues Groundbreaking Data Privacy Ruling

By Olga Symeonoglou

On October 6, the European Court of Justice invalidated the Safe Harbor pact, ruling that the privacy rights of European citizens are being violated by American companies. For fifteen years, the safe harbor agreement allowed U.S. companies to transfer data of European citizens overseas, but the ECJ found that this violated Europeans’ privacy rights because the U.S. government would have access to their personal information. The ruling comes as a shock to many companies that have relied on the data transfer agreement, but a new agreement is in the works.