US AG Says No Privacy Breaches in EU/US Agreement


 

Not that I disagree with the concept of sharing data by governments to fight serious crime (the devil, as always, is in the details), but this comment shows a lack of understanding on how privacy definitions vary by culture:

[The US AG] said there was "not one single example of privacy being breached", and said critics "need to deal with what is real, not what is hypothetical".

The transferring of data to a 3rd party without individual consent could be viewed by many as a privacy violation. Europeans look at privacy differently and to many, the mere transfer of their personal data under these circumstances could be viewed as a privacy breach. I wonder how many Americans will feel when Turkey joins the EU and has access to all this information. (I am fine with it, but you can how privacy differs from person to person.)

I also take issue with the “deal with what is real, not what is hypothetical.” What do you calling thinking ahead or being proactive? It’s dealing with problems that are hypothetical, but that might become real. Example: Tsunami hits nuclear power plant. Obviously there is a line, but seriously.

2 thoughts on “US AG Says No Privacy Breaches in EU/US Agreement

  1. This is attitude is very typical. In arguing before a judge attempting to get an injunction to prevent the ongoing release of student emails, the judge asked me what’s the harm in release the email address, spam? The harm, however, in a privacy breach is the disrepect it shows for one’s personal preference about the release of information about them.

  2. You hit the nail right on the head. This also is a great illustration of the different approaches between the EU and the US. In the EU, your example would be one of a recognized harm.

    I think that in the coming years, we will find a middle ground between the EU view on privacy harms and the current US view. I don’t think the status quo is sustainable. With the diminishing power of the judiciary, it’s likely that it will come from a statutory definition in some future federal legislation.

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