ALEX HALADA—AFP via Getty Images
  • Age
  • Title
    Cofounder and chairman
  • Company
    NOYB – European Center for Digital Rights

Europe is known as the originator of the world's toughest data-protection laws, and few have done more than Max Schrems to give those laws real teeth. A lawyer and Facebook user who launched a crusade against the company's privacy practices as a student some nine years ago, Schrems’s legal challenges have resulted in the destruction of two major U.S.-EU data-transfer agreements—Safe Harbor (in 2015) and Privacy Shield (in July of this year)—while also bolstering the power of Europe's data-protection watchdogs to tackle any company's behavior, as long as that company operates on European soil. The latest developments in that long-running saga could see Facebook ordered to stop transferring Europeans' data to the U.S., unless that country reforms its surveillance practices and finally adopts federal privacy legislation. Schrems now heads up an organization called NOYB (None Of Your Business) that makes formal data-protection complaints, drawn up by experts, on behalf of regular people.

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