The Guardian reports that under new laws, American internet companies improperly sharing Europeans’ personal data (with the U.S. government or otherwise) will face billions of dollars in fines:
New European rules aimed at curbing questionable transfers of data from EU countries to the US are being finalised in Brussels in the first concrete reaction to the Edward Snowden disclosures on US and British mass surveillance of digital communications.
The draft would make it harder for the big US internet servers and social media providers to transfer European data to third countries, subject them to EU law rather than secret American court orders, and authorise swingeing fines possibly running into the billions for the first time for not complying with the new rules.
Data privacy in the EU is currently under the authority of national governments with standards varying enormously across the 28 countries, complicating efforts to arrive at satisfactory data transfer agreements with the US. The current rules are easily sidestepped by the big Silicon Valley companies, Brussels argues.