Large tech companies are not yet getting ready to store data from European users within the EU. This is evident from one tour along 33 companies by privacy organization None of Your Business (NOYB). According to NOYB privacy activist Max Schrems, the tech giants have no idea how to comply with European regulations.
Facebook threatens to leave the EU
Last summer, the judge of the European Court ruled that the Privacy Shield Agreement between the United States and the European Union is illegal and the treaty was declared invalid. This means that tech companies are not allowed to process and store data from European users outside the EU.
Many companies, such as Netflix, WhatsApp and Airbnb, did not respond to NYOB. The companies that did, appeared to have not yet taken any steps to protect data from European users.
For example, Microsoft referred to old policy, in which data is still stored in the US and can also be retrieved by the government. Chatapp Slack writes in a statement that it will not pass on data to the government, which ignores the question of whether this is required by US law.
Schrems calls it “astonishing that software providers cannot provide a clear answer to the question of whether user data can be viewed by the government”.
The Privacy Shield Agreement was withdrawn following a ruling in a lawsuit between Facebook and Schrems. Facebook has now gone to court and has stated in a statement that it is not possible for the company to store data in the EU.
Facebook is threatening to stop offering Facebook and Instagram in Europe if data can no longer be sent to the US.