RAE Freepikr eDreams denounced data transfers allowance of their users to the US after a judgment of the CJEU invalidated them. A month ago, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the CJEU, ruled that the access and use of personal data in the United States is "not regulated" in accordance with European requirements, so the Privacy Shield was overthrown. This was the ostentatious name for the regulatory framework allowing data transfer between the EU and the US.
The ruling did not invalidate all data transfers between Europe and non-European states: Only those that sent the data to the North American country.
In addition to the already invalidated Privacy Shield between the EU and the US, the Union has mechanisms to preserve privacy safeguards when transferring user data to countries outside the continent. These mechanisms are actually legal tools known as standard contractual clauses, SCC for its acronym in English.
Following the court's ruling, Google made it clear in its privacy terms for Analytics-a tool by which websites measure their audiences - that "due to the court's recent decision invalidating the Privacy Shield, Google will become dependent on SCCS (...), since according to the judgment they remain a valid legal mechanism for transferring data".
Facebook, for example, also notes on its website that its data transfers are already carried out on the basis of the aforementioned SCC.
However, noyb, the platform of privacy activists led by Austrian Max Schrems, did not understand it that way. noyb was the organization that denounced to the CJEU the data transfer agreement with the United States, the Privacy Shield. And after the ruling became known, they warned: U.S. companies could only use SCCS " if there are no conflicting laws."
For this reason, noyb just announced Tuesday 101 complaints to several companies operating in Europe for keeping in the codes of their pages or services tools such as Analytics, Google, or Facebook. noyb understands that a transfer of user data to the United States is being made illegal, as neither Google nor Facebook should be able to use SCCS.
RAE Freepikr eDreams denounced data transfers allowance
In a statement, the activist organization details that they have filed 101 claims that would affect companies in 30 member countries of the European Union and the European Economic Area. To choose which companies would sue, noyb has made a selection based on the domain of each web (. es for Spanish pages, for example), the presence of Google and Facebook tools in their codes and traffic.
Max Schrems, the Austrian activist and honorary president of noyb, says his organisation has done "a quick search" of the Google and Facebook tool code " on the main pages of each EU member country." "These codes send data about users to Google or Facebook. Both companies admit that they transfer such data to the United States and that in their processing they have a legal obligation to transfer them to US agencies such as the NSA," he says.
"Neither Google Analytics nor Facebook Connect are essential to run these websites. These services could have been replaced or, at least, temporarily disabled."
"The court was explicit in ruling that SCCS cannot be used when transfer destinations in the US are subject to mass surveillance laws," Schrems laments. "Destinations in the US, when importing this data, should warn issuers of these laws. It's not being done, so these American companies will have to answer for any financial damage they cause."
The GDPR, the European Data Protection Regulation, provides that the competent supervisory authority of each country is responsible for ensuring compliance with this regulation. In the case of Spain, this supervisory body is the Spanish Data Protection Agency, the AEDP.
Thus, of the 101 claims that noyb has filed across Europe, at least 5 have been filed with the EDPS and concern companies that are either Spanish or operating in Spain.
In particular, noyb has filed claims against the Spanish Royal Academy, against a website called País de los Juegos, against Airbnb, against the travel agency and Comparator eDreams and against the Malaga startup Freepik, which a few months ago was sold to the Swedish investment group EQT.
The Facebook Facebook Connect tool HTML code is embedded in Freepik and Airbnb's claims to the AEPD, while country of the Games, RAE and eDreams have Google Analytics code embedded in them.
All of the claims are dated to Monday, August 17, and all of them are called for a deterrent fine because the claimant-noyb— may be just one of the "thousands" of users affected by data transfers to the United States, and it has already been more than a month since the judgment of the CJEU became known.
End of RAE Freepikr eDreams denounced data transfers allowance
Why the new coronavirus mutation can be beneficial, according to an expert
A mutation becoming more common the new coronavirus, which is found in Europe, North America and parts of Asia may be more infectious but seems less deadly, according to Paul Tambyah, infectious disease physician, senior consultant of the National University of Singapore and president of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, told Reuters.
The expert asserts that the evidence indicates that the proliferation of the new mutation, identified as D614G, in some parts of the world coincides with decreases in the mortality rate.
"It may be good to have a more infectious but less deadly virus," Tambyah says.
Several experts already warned at the beginning of the pandemic that viruses tend to reduce their virulence as they spread among humans. "Most viruses are attenuating," said Juan García Arriaza, a researcher at the National Biotechnology Center that is developing a vaccine against coronavirus in an interview with Business Insider Spain
"The virus is interested in infecting more people but not killing them because the virus depends on the host to feed and take refuge," Tambyah notes.
Scientists discovered the mutation as early as February and has circulated throughout Europe and America, according to the World Health Organization. Who has also said that there is no evidence that the mutation has led to a more serious disease.
The greatest danger of mutations is that they change the structure of the virus so much that they cause vaccines that are being developed against coronavirus to be ineffective. However, it seems that this is not the case, as Tambyah asserts.
"The variants are almost identical and did not change the areas that our immune system usually recognizes, so there should be no difference for the vaccines that are being developed," Sebastian Maurer-Stroh, of the Singapore Science, Technology and research agency, also tells Reuters.