Facebook hit a snag in EU privacy case
Facebook have been quite cocky about the whole Spying In The EU thing, but that might be about to change.
The 15-year-old agreement which has allowed American tech companies and social media businesses to send personal data to the States could well be invalid, says a top lawyer. The very internet sounding Yves Bot, who is the European Court of Justice's Advocate-General, reckons that countries should be able to suspend the transfer of data, if it turns out it is a violation of European rights.
Now, as it stands, this is only a recommendation to the court, but one thing worth noting is that these recommendations are very rarely overruled. This is a sticky situation for Facebook - one they'll presumably throw loads of money at to go away.
This agreement to share data is known as "Safe Harbour", and has been a thing since 2000. However, things have changed a lot since that time. If this agreement becomes void, there's a lot of far reaching consequences for a lot of online businesses.
Max Schrems, who brought the case to court, says: "Companies that participate in US mass surveillance and provide, for example, cloud services within the EU rely on data centres in the US may now have to invest in secure data centres within the European Union."
"This could be a major issue for Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft or Yahoo. All of them operate data centres in Europe, but may need to fundamentally restructure their data storage architecture and maybe even their corporate structure."
This is set to rumble on and on.