How costly is a bad reputation?   In the data world, post Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Administration, it means that data is frozen in the EU.  It might have been difficult in any event to continue data transfers between Europe and the US, but NSA’s bad reputation for snooping sealed the decision.  This means thousands of companies with European operations may have to find another way to transfer personnel data or simply work with it in Europe and not send it at all.  The process is bound to be cumbersome and open to legal challenge.  Had the NSA not been so aggressive in collecting data, there might have been a chance to convince the courts to allow the transfers.  We will never know and Europe has already instituted the “Right to be forgotten” rule, which is hamstringing Google.  Still, NSA’s reputation did not help.

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