The end of the Safe Harbour principle – the end of the information age?

The European Courts decision to say bye bye to the Safe Harbour principle dominates the papers in Europe these days: “A  legislation permitting [American] public authorities to have access on a generalised basis to the content of electronic communications must be regarded as compromising the essence of the fundamental right to respect for private life”. We understand the reasons why the EU was concerned about privacy issues and are also aware that this will be a further obstacle regarding the information flow between multonational organizations. The nationalization, or “balcanisation” as The Economist puts it, might be a bigger threat to the information economy then anything else. On the other hand, this decision might haven an impact on how people threat their personal data. In my opinion, this decision will not have a real impact on the digital economy as log as people keep giving away their data for free. It will be an obstacle for companies, therefor the only solution will be to agree on global standards on how to treat personal data. However, if the same happens to personal privacy that happened to financial privacy, the future for privacy advocates doesn’t look very bright.




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