The European Union (EU) is preparing legislation to force companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft to turn over customers’ personal data when requested even if it is stored on servers outside the bloc. The proposed law would apply to any company that does business within Europe, no matter where its data centers are based, according to Reuters.
The EU executive has previously indicated it wanted law enforcement authorities to be able to access electronic evidence stored within the 28-nation bloc. However, the scope of the planned legislation will extend to data held elsewhere, Reuters reports, quoting two unnamed “sources with direct knowledge of the matter.”
Don’t expect it to go into effect without a fight from companies such as Apple. As Reuters notes, the planned law, which would apply to all companies around the world that do business in the European Union, is an apparent shift in position for the European Commission, the EU executive, which has stood on the side of privacy advocates in the past.
The planning law’s options could include police asking an IT provider or tech company in a member nation to turn over requested data or evidence without going through the official legal channels of the home country. In June 2017 Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company has helped out in the wake of U.K. attacks but didn’t provide specifics.