Cybersecurity » The Man Who Threw The Monkey Wrench At Silicon Valley

The Man Who Threw The Monkey Wrench At Silicon Valley

October 12, 2015

Doing research for a paper about privacy while attending Santa Clara University School of Law, Max Schrems contacted Facebook and asked to see all the data they had on or about him. A lot of back-and-forth ensued, and eventually he got a CD that contained more than 1,200 pages of information, including a chat he had deleted, with a friend who was in the hospital for psychological problems. Schrems, now a graduate student at the University of Vienna, subsequently became the plaintiff in the landmark privacy case recently decided in the European Court of Justice, in a decision that invalidated the so-called safe harbor provision governing transfer of data from Europe to the U.S. and caused consternation among companies in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. New York Times reporter Robert Levine profiles Schrems and explains how his case sheds light on a basic clash of values between much of Europe and the U.S., especially with values of Silicon Valley.

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