Posted by Zia Shah
The EU’s Justice Commissioner has written to the US attorney general, questioning him about America’s data surveillance programme, Prism.
Viviane Reding wrote that she was concerned America’s efforts “could have grave adverse consequences for the fundamental rights of EU citizens”.
A series of leaks suggest major tech firms have passed information to the National Security Agency, the US government’s snooping organisation.
Experts say they could now be sued.
“European data protection laws put restrictions on how data gathered about people, including social networking data, can be used,” said Dr Ian Brown, associate director of Oxford University’s Cyber Security Centre.
“The firms will now face serious questions from national data commissioners and even potentially from individual users in Europe over whether they followed all the European data protection laws that are supposed to stop things like this happening.”