A picture taken on March 1, 2015 in Paris shows the frontpage of the social media website Facebook. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE
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The EU's highest court struck down a deal that allows thousands of companies to easily transfer personal data from Europe to the United States, in a landmark ruling Tuesday that follows revelations of mass U.S. government snooping.Many companies, both U.S. and European, use the Safe Harbour system to help them get round cumbersome checks to transfer data between offices on both sides of the Atlantic. Any company with a centralized HR database in the U.S. would need to transfer personal data there, and companies that do not have data centers in Europe often ship the data from their European clients across the Atlantic, lawyers said.The ECJ ruling became effective immediately and the European Commission said it would continue to work with the United States on a revamped data transfer deal to fill the void.Without Safe Harbour, the United States loses its status in the EU as a country that provides "adequate protection" for personal data.
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