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OCT 03, 2017 | IRELAND

Irish High Court Refers Data Protection Commissioner v. Schrems and Facebook's Case to the CJEU

BRUSSELS, 3 October 2017 - Earlier today the Irish High Court handed down its decision on the "Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Limited & Maximilian Schrems" case and decided to refer it to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

Commenting on the Irish High Court's decision to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union, Thomas Boué, Director-General, Policy - EMEA said: "In BSA's amicus brief, as well as in court, we demonstrated the importance of standard contractual clauses (SCCs) as a basis for data transfers that are essential to the economy and job creation on both sides of the Atlantic. We have argued that this case should not be about standard contractual clauses in their entirety, but instead about how the clauses were formulated and used for the specific transfers involved here. We also explained that the SCCs include important safeguards to protect users -- among them, they grant national data protection authorities the power to review specific implementation of these clauses on a case by case basis. We will continue to advocate these perspectives before the Court of Justice of the EU."

Standard contractual clauses are paramount for the ability of companies across Europe to transfer data outside of the EEA. They provide the legal foundation for millions of daily data transfers not only to the United States but also to many other countries such as Brazil or Japan.

The proceedings, which were commenced by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon in May 2016, seek a reference to the CJEU concerning the validity of standard contractual clauses. BSA | The Software Alliance was granted the status of amicus curiae, or friend of the court, in July 2016.

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