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EU_symbol_1_2The European Union’s highest court struck down its agreement with the United States which allows companies to transfer personal digital information between the EU and U.S.

The Court of Justice claimed the safe harbor agreement “allowed American government authorities to gain routine access to Europeans’ online information,” reports The New York Times.

The court also pointed to the leaks from Edward Snowden, arguing that U.S. intelligence agencies had complete access to Europeans’ information, violating their rights to privacy.

It is expected that there will be ramifications for large companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft that rely on the easy flow of data in their day to day operations. Other global firms may also be affected in instances “such as when a company has employees in more than one region and needs to transfer payroll information or allow worker to manage their employee benefits online.”

The New York Times has the whole story and more on the ruling.

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