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New court request raises further doubts about transatlantic data transfers

Peter Sayer | May 26, 2016
Irish data protection authority wants EU court to rule on whether standard contracts offer better privacy protection than the Safe Harbor pact it has already struck down.

Facebook is taking the whole thing calmly. "There is no immediate impact for people or businesses who use our services," a company spokeswoman said Wednesday. "Standard contract clauses remain valid, and Facebook has other legal methods in place to transfer data between countries," she said.

That's certainly true for now, but a new ruling from the CJEU could change that.

Schrems, whose complaint to the Irish DPC triggered the whole legal process, expects the CJEU to invalidate standard, or model, contract clauses, for exactly the same reasons it struck down Safe Harbor.

"All data protection lawyers knew that model contracts were a shaky thing, but it was so far the easiest and quickest solution they came up with. As long as the U.S. does not substantially change its laws I don't see how there could be a solution," he said via email.

 

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