Data Protection Report - Norton Rose Fulbright

As discussed in our post earlier, in today’s ruling on Case C-362/14 (the so-called “Schrems” case), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) invalidated the EU Commission’s “US Safe Harbor” decision with immediate effect. In the meantime, the EU Commission held a press conference discussing the impact of the judgement.

The main takeaways from the press conference are:

  1. In the EU Commission’s view, although the Safe Harbor decision is no longer valid, data flows to the US may be upheld via other mechanisms provided by Directive 95/46/EC, i.e. under the derogations provided for in the directive, EU Standard Contractual Clauses and Binding Corporate Rules. More information on these alternative mechanisms may be found in last night’s blog post, in which we analyzed the likely impact of an ECJ decision finding the Safe Harbor to be invalid and the mitigation steps that companies could consider.
  2. The EU Commission will closely coordinate with and provide guidance to the EU Member States’ national data protection authorities on how to deal with data transfers following the Schrems decision to avoid fragmentation and ensure legal certainty in the coming days and weeks.
  3. The EU Commission considers that the decision validates the Commission’s approach in the renegotiation of the Safe Harbor decision and will continue the negotiations. The EU Commission expects the General Data Protection Regulation and the Umbrella Agreement to be finalized by the end of this year.

More details on the background of the Schrems case and the Advocate General’s opinion may be found in our previous blog posts here and here.

The ECJ judgment may be found here.

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