EU nations’ attempt to water down privacy protections could increase tension with US over …

If you thought the discussion about mass surveillance in Europe was over…

[…] A key issue, once more, is national security. The US wants its intelligence agencies to be able to access the personal data of EU citizens that is sent to the US if it needs to; the EU wants that data to be protected in a way that is “essentially equivalent” to the EU’s stringent GDPR. Reconciling those competing demands is already proving hard. If the proposal to allow companies as well as intelligence agencies to carry out mass surveillance on behalf of EU governments survives in the final text of the ePrivacy Regulation, the gulf between the two regions could get worse. With some justice, the US could point out that double standards are being applied, with only companies in the EU allowed to carry out bulk data collection of personal data for the authorities. One danger is that the European Commission might argue that the solution is to allow US companies to do the same for its own government.

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