The European Court of Justice is expected to issue its Privacy Shield decision this Thursday, Computing reports. Two matters will be addressed in the decision which, though nonbinding, is regarded as significant. First, the court will assess whether the EU's standard contractual clauses sufficiently protect privacy. Second, the judge will also decide whether 2016's EU-US Privacy Shield is consistent with European law.
The FBI has apparently been demanding large quantities of personal data from credit bureaus, with the requests arriving in the form of National Security Letters. TechCrunch says that three Senators, Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democrats Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Ron Wyden or Oregon, have asked Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to explain, no later than December 27th, what the FBI has been asking for. Why not ask the FBI? Since 2015 companies receiving such Letters have been permitted to request that they be able to disclose them, and a number of tech companies including Microsoft, Apple, and Google have done so. But the credit bureaus apparently have not. “Because your company holds so much potentially sensitive data on so many Americans and collects this information without obtaining consent from these individuals, you have a responsibility to be transparent about how you handle that data,” the Senators wrote. “Unfortunately, your company has not provided information to policymakers or the public about the type or the number of disclosures that you have made to the FBI.” So the Senators' request is not entirely unmotivated. Presumably at some point they'll ask the FBI as well.