Safe Harbour treaty ruled invalid by European court

Today the European Court of Justice have ruled against Safe Harbour, a treaty that allows companies to move European data to the US. The transatlantic agreement, which lets companies use the same standard for data privacy and storage in both Europe and the US, was found inadequate based on a suit filed by Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems.

Why Safe Harbour was rejected in Europe

The ECJ rejected Safe Harbour based on the grounds that legislation giving authorities access to electronic communications jeopardised the fundamental right to respect for private life. This ruling may lead to difficulties for large transatlantic companies that regularly move data, including industry spearheads Facebook, Twitter and Google. Such corporations are now exposed to individual European data protection regulations and may have to start hosting European data locally.

The ruling was positively received by privacy campaigners and data protection associations. Open Rights Group executive director Jim Killock said: “In the face of the Snowden revelations, it is clear that Safe Harbour is not worth the paper its written on. We need a new agreement that will protect EU citizens from mass surveillance by the NSA”

What does this mean for your data and privacy?

The disclosure of hundreds of thousands classified NSA documents by Edward Snowdon in 2013 sparked a global debate on privacy and data protection.

It revealed details on global surveillance that were previously unknown and eventually lead to the suit against Safe Harbour.

For European citizens and small businesses, this ruling entails a stricter handling of their data based on their country of origin.

If you’re a CashOrCard user, nothing will change for you based on this ruling.

At CashOrCard we comply with the strictest data regulations in Europe, adhering to both Irish and Dutch policies. This compliance ensures that all individual European requirements are covered and that both your store and consumer data is safely and locally stored.

Have a question about this? Don’t hesitate to reach out to We’d be happy to fill you in on how we protect your data and privacy.



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