The Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") will issue its judgment tomorrow in Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems (Case C-311/1) (also commonly known as "Schrems II"). The judgment is set to represent a further significant milestone in the tortured recent history of EU-US transfers of personal data.
|June 2013||Snowden disclosures regarding PRISM|
|June 2013||Schrems complaint to Irish DPC re Safe Harbor in view of Snowden disclosures|
|June 2014||Irish High Court refers the Schrems case to CJEU|
|October 2015||CJEU invalidates Safe Harbor|
|October–December 2015||Schrems complaint to Irish DPC re EU Standard Contractual Clauses|
|July 2016||Adoption of EU-US Privacy Shield|
|October 2017||Irish High Court refers Schrems complaint to the CJEU|
|May 2018||Entry into force of the GDPR|
|July 2019||Schrems II hearing in the CJEU|
|December 2019||CJEU AG Opinion in Schrems II|
|16 July 2020||CJEU judgment in Schrems II|
As demonstrated by the timeline, Schrems II has been years in the making and is a fascinating case. Indeed, it raises involved questions about the importance of personal data to organisations / economies in the 21st century, the role of the EU as an architect and arbiter of international data protection rules and, of course, at the case's core – a potentially intractable conflict between US surveillance law and EU fundamental rights.
However, of potentially greater immediate concern to privacy practitioners is that the judgment may well trigger changes to their companies' day-to-day compliance activities. This is because, among eleven detailed questions, the CJEU is assessing the validity of the long-established and much used EU Standard Contractual Clauses as well as potentially the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework. The judgment may also have consequences for EU-UK data flows post-Brexit.
With that in mind, please do join a Fieldfisher webinar on Friday 17 July or Monday 20 July in which Renzo Marchini, Eleonor Duhs and myself explain the key commercial and practical implications for businesses arising from the judgement. To register, please click here.
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