A new legislation is in the making that would significantly change the way in which personal data is disclosed in criminal investigations.
According to experts, the European Union would like to create a new law that would force all technology companies that do business in their territory to provide the personal data of a customer if it is requested for an investigation of a serious crime, defined as one that has a penalty of at least three years of jail time.
The law would be applicable even if the nationality of the customer is different than the country where the case is being investigated. For example, if Europe is investigating an American citizen, they should be able to get his information from the U.S.
Without this law, if Europe would want to obtain information from the U.S, it would be a highly lengthy process to obtain a search warrant and be given the data. In that precious amount of time, a crime could already have been stopped. By having a faster, more efficient method, crime could be reduced greatly.
Technology companies are resistant however to these types of laws that impose them to give customer data to foreign nations, which breach privacy rights and customer trust.
According to John Frank, the vice president for the E.U government affairs at Microsoft, this could also be a breach of national sovereignty.
If this law were to be passed, it would need to be agreed upon internationally as well. At the moment however, the law will most likely take several years to come into place, if it does. Nations for now just need to rely on each other to help out.