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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Data Protection: EU Court to deliver judgement - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:

The world's biggest legal case studies on Data Security and Privacy would be receiving judgement from the European Court of Justice on Thursday, reports ITREALMS.

The judgement, experts told 
ITREALMS may be used as a reference in different markets including Africa on how the judicial system will be able to handle cases on Data Protection at the speed of technology.
ITREALMS gathered that the Europe’s highest court, is due to hand down judgment on the Schrems II case on July 16th on whether the European Commission’s standard contractual clauses and the EU- US Privacy Shield regime are valid for transfers of personal data outside of Europe.

Commenting ahead of the case judgement, Ross McKean, data protection partner at global law firm DLA Piper said "Standard contractual clauses and Privacy Shield are widely used by organizations to legitimize transfers of personal data from the European Union to third countries, such as the US. Without them, it would be difficult to lawfully export personal data from the European Union or from the UK posing a significant risk to the many businesses which rely on the free movement of personal data.

“ In one of the most highly anticipated judgments of the year, Europe’s highest court is due to rule on the validity of the standard contractual clauses and Privacy Shield on Thursday, July 16th. The European Commission recently announced that it is preparing for the eventuality of at least one of these mechanisms being invalidated, namely Privacy Shield. This wouldn’t be the first time that the ECJ has invalidated a transfer mechanism. In 2015, the court invalidated the EU-US Safe Harbor framework which was the predecessor to Privacy Shield. If the court invalidated the standard contractual clauses or Privacy Shield, there would be a big impact on data transfers, many of which would become unlawful overnight."

"The implications would be significant as these mechanisms, are widely used by organizations to permit the flow of personal data outside Europe or the UK. Unfortunately, there is currently no practical alternative in place that can be easily used to legitimize these transfers on a systematic and regular basis".
ITREALMS recalls that the original Schrems I case was brought to the ECJ by Max Schrems, an Austrian privacy activist, who complained regarding Facebook’s transfer of data to the US under the Safe Harbor framework. Following the invalidation of Safe Harbor by the CJEU, the Schrems II case was initiated by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner to query the validity of the Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs). The case is relevant to all businesses exporting personal data from the EU to non- EU countries (and the UK post Brexit).

Also notable is that if cross-border personal data flows were seriously disrupted or stopped, the negative impact on EU GDP could reach between - 0.8% and - 1.3%, according to evidence submitted by the BSA Software Alliance. This would be equivalent to roughly 3-4x the economic decline that Europe experienced during the 2012 economic downturn.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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