Snoop no more: A new era of privacy activism

Max Schrems

In a landmark judgment on Tuesday, the European Court of Justice, Luxembourg decided to kill the framework used by leading tech companies to transfer private data from Europe to US. The case was filed by Max Schrems, a 28-year old law student from Vienna. The young lawyer thanked Edward Snowden, his inspiration behind the law suit.

When Schrems had gone to California for a semester, he came across a document leaked by Snowden about the Prism programme of the US government, which revealed how they violated the privacies of global citizens using data compiled by tech companies like Facebook, Google and IBM.

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Schrems started a website and began posting details regarding the project to garner support in his battle against these data thieves. His appeal to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner was fruitless but the European Court finally heard his appeal and after two years, the long battle concluded on Tuesday with his victory. A jubilant Schrems was congratulated by Snowden on Twitter: “Congratulations Max Schrems. You’ve changed the world for the better”.

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