Schrems' Day in Court in Ireland Once Again
The Tip of the Night for October 11, 2015, described the ruling of the EU Court of Justice in Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner. The Irish Data Protection Commissioner had rejected a claim by Schrems that the American data protection scheme did not provide the level of protection required under EU privacy law. The EU Court of Justice overturned this ruling, in effect invalidating the safe harbor scheme developed by the United States Department of Commerce for allowing the transfer of personal data to the United States under EU privacy law.
On December 1, 2015, Schrems filed an update to his initial complaint against Facebook with Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner against Facebook. Schrems' position is that Facebook's Standard Contractual Clauses should not provide an alternate means of transferring data outside of the safe harbor scheme, and the Irish Data Protection Commissioner agreed with him. The case is now under review by the Irish High Court before Judge Caroline Costello, who may uphold the DPC's decision and refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union. Facebook's right to transfer data under the SCCs has not been suspended for the time being. The trial before the High Court concluded on March 15, 2017. The court may decide that the question of the validity of the SCCs should be heard by the Court of Justice of the European Union. Check this page on the site of Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner for a final ruling in the case.