“Europe Vs. Facebook” Group Challenges U.S. Safe Harbor Agreement

euvsfbPrivacy advocacy group Europe vs. Facebook, headed by Austrian law student Max Schrems, widened its scope this week to take aim at the United States. Specifically, the group has targeted the E.U.-U.S. agreement called “Safe Harbor” that allows U.S. companies to take data from European users.

According to Schrems, Safe Harbor violates European privacy laws by potentially making data available to the NSA and other U.S. government agencies. Schrems brought a case against Facebook to a data protection agency in Ireland, the site’s European headquarters. The agency dismissed the case, and Schrems went a step further and sued the agency. The case is now working its way to the European Court of Justice.

“We will go on a head-on collision with Safe Harbor,” Schrems said at a privacy conference this week. ““Safe harbor in practice doesn’t give you any protection.”

Ever since Edward Snowden’s revelations of the U.S. government spying on foreign Facebook users, many groups have pushed hard to keep the site in check across the continent. There won’t be a decision Europe vs. Facebook’s case in the European Court of Justice until at least spring, but it seems that even if it fails, the group won’t stop vocally raising issues of privacy and generally acting as a thorn in the side of Facebook.