How US intelligence agencies could tap data from the EU

2 min
Tags: European Union US intelligence agencies sensitive data protection communications health data

How US intelligence agencies could tap data from the EU

It seems that not all data is safe from U.S. intelligence services, and the European Union's data protection laws offer only limited protection. Sensitive data is at risk even if the server is located directly in the European Union.

The perspective is missing

U.S. authorities are curious when it comes to the data of European citizens. There is a lot of snooping. Even for experts, it is complicated to see through this. The data transfer agreement between the European Union and the USA was overturned by the European Court of Justice in the summer of 2020. Many reacted helplessly. Actually, a legal regulation with regard to data exchange across the Atlantic was the goal. A legally secure data transfer is impossible without an agreement. Unfortunately, the situation has not changed until now.

Different priorities of the countries

Furthermore, it is possible that secret services from the USA have access to the data of European citizens. The data protection laws from the US countries cannot keep up with the European ones. Nevertheless, the data of Europeans should not be able to end up in the USA. That's why a lot of experts are now coming in to assess the situation. Incidentally, airlines and banks could also be affected by this situation. On the part of the USA, these interventions are repeatedly justified with the fight against terrorism.

This applies to all data generated by various digital providers of electronic communications services. This means, for example, the following:

·       Data center operators
·       Email provider
·       Telecommunications companies
·       Hotels
·       Airlines
·       Banks

Incidentally, this intervention also applies if a company provides its employees with its own email service.

-> So we recommend here to protect your emails and use

High penalties may be imposed with regard to data release. Actually, the goal would be to store the data exclusively in the EU and also to process it there.

As before, however, nothing has changed in the scope of the US law. For a European group that has a subsidiary or branch in the U.S., the situation is not really clear.

The situation with health data looks particularly delicate in relation to the US intelligence services. This refers to frequently used programs and apps for patients, for example when it comes to medical prescriptions.