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The Safe Harbour principle, which governs data transfers between the European Union and the US, has been declared “invalid” by the European Court of Justice.
Safe Harbour stated that US companies receiving data from the EU could self-certify themselves as having data protection safeguards in place.
The European Court of Justice decided that this was wrong and that EU companies must take steps to ensure that US companies are indeed taking data protection measures.
The ruling means that big US companies such as Facebook may be required to stop all data transfers from the EU until they draw up contracts formally stating what data protection safeguards they will be implementing.