JUL 14, 2020 | US | EUROPEAN UNION
Tech Industry Braces for Transatlantic ‘Data Lockdown’ Ahead of EU Court Decision
National Journal, July 14, 2020
By Brendan Bordelon
An impending decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union is poised to choke off vast flows of Europeans’ personal data to US servers, with advocates on both sides warning of financial fallout as COVID-19 continues to weigh on the global economy.
The case, known as Schrems II, marks the second time Austrian privacy advocate Max Schrems has tangled with Facebook over its transatlantic transfer of personal data, which Schrems contends puts that data within the legal reach of the National Security Agency and other US intelligence agencies.
“Losing a reliable mechanism for transferring data would leave fewer alternatives that companies could turn to,” said Kate Goodloe, policy director at The Software Alliance, a technology trade association. “If either the Privacy Shield or standard contractual clauses are invalidated, it could have a significant economic impact because companies across industry sectors—including automotive, agriculture, financial, health care, manufacturing, and HR—rely on those mechanisms to transfer data.”
A ruling against both mechanisms would leave them “without much else,” she said.
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