German chancellor Angela Merkel: when her own phones were tapped, she said, “Spying on friends is just not on.” Photograph: Roni Rekomaa/AFP/Getty Images

When confronted with Edward Snowden’s allegations of US National Security Agency mass surveillance of European citizens, EU institutions, and even on(...)

Lawyers, privacy activists, academics and other experts meet to discuss issues around digital privacy at the inaugural Digital Rights Europe conference in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Thinkstock

Social media is increasingly being used by police authorities and citizens are essentially being used as tools to enable their own surveillance, a con(...)

Max Schrems says his one-man campaign could yet challenge one of the world’s biggest companies. Photograph: AFP

As eight television cameras jostled to get a shot of Max Schrems in Vienna, Facebook must have rued the day it signed him up in 2008.In a veneer-panel(...)

 Whistleblower Edward Snowden: disclosures of large scale, secretive state surveillance.   Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

When Edward Snowden’s disclosures of large scale, secretive state surveillance began to emerge via the Guardian newspaper nearly two years ago, hum(...)

Austrian law graduate Max Schrems displays a logo of social platform Facebook on  his smartphone. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMARJOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

Austria’s media have dubbed it a “David v Goliath” battle. This morning a civil court in Vienna stages the latest round in the big data grudge match b(...)

Max Schrems has already taken on Facebook, where its international operation is based, and has a case involving Facebook ongoing at the European Court of Justice. Photograph: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook’s legal battles in Europe enter another round today when Vienna district court hears a civil suit filed against the US company by Austrian p(...)

 National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed government snooping. However, the information gathered by companies means citizen information can be made available to the government anyway, without secretly harvesting it.  Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

The Patriot Act, the US legislation brought in as an emergency measure after the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks, expires in June and many are(...)

Katharine Viner, who will replace Alan Rusbridger this summer, looks set to continue softening of distinction between news and features. Photograph: EPA/Guardian News & Media

Katharine Viner will this summer become the first woman to run the Guardian newspaper in its 194-year history, but her gender, while important, is not(...)

Austrian law student   Max Schrems: the case heard on Tuesday originates in an action brought by him against the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, in which he asserted the commission should have taken more substantial action when he filed a complaint over Facebook’s handling of his data. Photograph:   Dieter Nagl/AFP/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the European Court of Justice heard an Irish case – referred from the High Court – that could have profound implications for international(...)

Tuesday’s oral hearing at the European Court of Justice was a referral from the Irish High Court on foot of a complaint filed by Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems against the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.

The European Commission has conceded that it cannot guarantee EU citizens’ fundamental right to privacy when their data is transferred to the US.Dur(...)