Today, in a new blog post, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith argues that privacy is a human right and warned that without policy changes we could see “a return to the digital dark ages” where data is segregated by nation. This blog was prompted by a top European court’s decision invalidating the U.S.- EU “Safe Harbor” which is an international legal agreement that has been in place for over 15 years to “enable companies to do business and serve consumers.”
As Brad puts it, “legal rules that were written at the dawn of the personal computer are no longer adequate for an era with ubiquitous mobile devices connected to the cloud.” His blog makes it clear, the recent ruling actually creates the opportunity to strengthen privacy protections for people and organizations on both sides of the Atlantic.
“We need solutions that will work not just for large tech enterprises but for small companies across the economy, and for consumers most of all. If we’re going to ensure that data more broadly can move across the Atlantic on a sustainable basis, we need to put in place a new type of trans-Atlantic agreement. This agreement needs to protect people’s privacy rights pursuant to their own laws, while ensuring that law enforcement can keep the public safe through new international processes to obtain prompt and appropriate access to personal information pursuant to proper legal standards.”
What Can You Do? Please Take Two Steps
- The Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad or the LEADS Act is one bill in Congress that will modernize outdate laws.
- Please read Brad Smith’s blog and share it out on social media. The more you share this out with your networks, the broader this important message gets communicated.