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Tech spats spark US fears of 'digital protectionism'

A key element in the US-EU row over privacy has been the fear that US Internet firms are handing over data to the National Security Agency, in light of revelations from former intelligence contractor Edward SnowdenWhile China has long been a difficult market for US firms to navigate, tensions have been rising with the European Union on privacy, antitrust and other issues, impacting tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Uber. In recent weeks, Europe’s highest court struck down an agreement which allowed US firms to transfer personal data out of the region without running afoul of privacy rules. In parallel, Brussels is looking to create a new “digital single market” simplifying rules for operating across EU borders — but which could also include new regulations for online “platforms”.

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