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Privacidad: una sentencia problemática

PARÍS – En octubre de 2015, una demanda judicial iniciada por un joven austríaco de 28 años llamado Max Schrems, activista por la privacidad y estudiante de posgrado de la Universidad de Viena, llevó a la invalidación del acuerdo de protección de datos (basado en los “principios de puerto seguro”) que regulaba el cumplimiento de las leyes de privacidad europeas por parte de empresas estadounidenses. La decisión del Tribunal Europeo de Justicia (TEJ) dejó en un limbo jurídico las actividades de recolección, manejo, transferencia y almacenamiento de datos de usuarios de unas 4500 empresas estadounidenses.

La sentencia llevó a que muchos en Europa compararan a Schrems con Edward Snowden, el contratista de inteligencia que filtró información clasificada sobre los programas de vigilancia global de Estados Unidos. De hecho, la demanda de Schrems se basó en gran medida en revelaciones de Snowden, entre ellas detalles de un programa de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad (NSA) de los EE. UU. por el cual las empresas estadounidenses presuntamente entregaban a la NSA datos personales almacenados en sus sistemas informáticos. Según la sentencia del TEJ, la cooperación entre empresas y organismos de inteligencia estadounidenses viola el derecho a la privacidad y a la protección de datos garantizado por la Carta de Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea.

El mensaje del tribunal fue claro: si el gobierno estadounidense no modificaba sus prácticas de recolección de inteligencia (de modo de restringir el acceso a datos personales y llevar a cabo sus investigaciones en forma particularizada), la transferencia de información de consumidores desde la UE hasta EE. UU. en el marco de los principios de puerto seguro no podía continuar.

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