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Technology / Cybersecurity

Quit Facebook to prevent NSA snooping, says EU attorney

An attorney from the European Commission has advised social media users in Europe to close their accounts if they don’t want to be spied on by American security agencies.

The comments were made during a hearing of a case between privacy campaigner Maximilian Schrems and Facebook, with EC attorney Bernhard Schima saying the comments to attorney general Yves Bot at the European court of justice in Luxembourg.

Schima was cited by the Guardian as saying, "You might consider closing your Facebook account, if you have one."

The Commission has also conceded before the European court of justice that the Harbour framework can’t ensure the data privacy of European citizens.

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Schrems argues that the companies operating in the Europe should not be allowed to pass over the citizen data to the US, under the Safe Harbour framework.

Schrems argues that the US Prism programme, revealed by Snowden, violates the EU Data Protection Directive.

The argument was supported by countries such as Poland and advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland who say that the Safe Harbour framework has failed to protect data of EU citizens, violating two articles of the Data Protection Directive.

The privacy campaigner said, "The Irish DPC was so keen on highlighting its limitations, that a judge has started to wonder why a privacy watchdog would insist on its restrictions this much and if this is related to Ireland as the tech hub.

"Most member states supported the view that PRISM cannot be legal under "Safe Harbor" and EU law."

The European Court of Justice is expected to give its final opinion on 24th June.
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