BEERG: Irish Supreme Court Hears Case on Personal Data Transfers Between EU and U.S.

January 25, 2019

The Irish Supreme Court is poised to decide whether to refer 11 questions regarding data privacy to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), a move that could potentially see the EU policy allowing transfers of personal data between the U.S. and EU invalidated.

A referral to the CJEU challenges Standard Contractual Clauses, which allow for the transfer of personal data from the EU to processors established in non-EU countries, including the U.S.  Among the questions to be referred is whether the U.S. is engaged in “mass indiscriminate processing” of personal data through the NSA’s surveillance programs—allegedly a violation of EU law.

According to the BEERG Global Labor Newsletter, Facebook disputed the April 2018 Irish High Court decision to refer the questions concerning the validity of EU-U.S. data transfers to the CJEU for final determination, asking that the referral not be made.  Facebook failed in its attempt to obtain a stay on the referral at the time of the Irish Supreme Court's ruling.  This week, the Court heard arguments appealing that decision and is now in the process of coming to a judgement.

Read the full BEERG Global Labor Newsletter.