EU-US Data Transfers (Court of Justice of the European Union)

In 2013, Edward Snowden disclosed that the US Intelligence Agencies have access to the personal data of European Facebook users with the aid of surveillance programs such as “PRISM”. Mr Schrems’s complaint seeks to stop Facebook EU-US data transfers based on both Privacy Shield and Standard Contractual Clauses.

After several procedural steps, the Irish High Court recognized the existence of US government mass surveillance programs and referred eleven interpretive questions to the CJEU, which examined the matter on July 9th 2019. During the hearing the parties argued on the main aspects of the proceeding such as the violation of the fundamental right to privacy, the legitimacy of international data transfers in case of ongoing mass surveillance programs and the duties of the involved Data Protection Authorities.

After the judgment of the CJEU, expected in Q1 2020, the DPC would finally have to decide on the complaint for the first time. The decision could again be subject to appeals by Facebook or Mr. Schrems.

Relevant articles