Landmark data protection case opens before Dublin courts

The European Court of Justice could be asked to rule on issues concerning companies transferring data from Europe to the US in a landmark case before the Dublin courts.

The Data Protection Commissioner will ask the Commercial Court to refer the question to Strasbourg following a complaint by Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems about Facebook’s use of so-called standard contractual clauses (SCCs) to transfer personal data from Europe to the US.

The Commissioner has reached the provisional view that SCCs do not offer the level of protection necessary under EU privacy laws.

The case has massive implications and marks the US government’s first-ever involvement in litigation in the Irish courts.

The case is expected to be heard over the next three weeks.