A key data arrangement between Europe and the United States expired on Thursday, which put the transatlantic big technology into a legal dilemma.
Schlums said on Twitter: “It seems we have won 100%.”
He said: “For our privacy, the United States will have to carry out serious oversight reforms to restore American companies to a “privileged” status.
Schrems launched a legal attack after Edward Snowden revealed that US agencies were carrying out large-scale digital espionage activities. At the time, the European Court of Justice stated that this was inconsistent with European privacy regulations.
The previous decision canceled an agreement called the “safe harbor”, which allowed data transmission between European and American servers, thereby putting transatlantic businesses into legal difficulties.
Its replacement product “Privacy Shield” (currently used by more than 5,000 US companies) has also expired.
The judges said that although the transaction requires the United States to comply with EU privacy laws, the provisions of the transaction “do not grant Europeans recourse to the US authorities in the European Court of Justice.”
The court said, however, another arrangement called standard contractual clauses may be established, providing an alternative framework for companies.
The case judged on Thursday initially targeted these complex clauses, an EU invention, and companies outside Europe pledged to comply with EU laws on data and privacy.
However, compared with bilateral agreements such as the “Privacy Shield”, these arrangements are more legally troublesome for companies.
At the hearing, the judge focused on the “Privacy Shield”, and the court’s legal counsel warned that it might be illegal.
Schrems’ latest case started in Ireland, the hub for Facebook’s activities in the European Union. The Irish Data Protection Commission referred the complaint to the Supreme Court of Ireland, which transferred it to a judge in Luxembourg.
The CCIA, a large US technology company lobby group, criticized the decision. “This decision creates legal uncertainty for thousands of large and small companies on both sides of the Atlantic.”
CCIA added: “We believe that EU and US policymakers will quickly develop a sustainable solution in accordance with EU law to ensure continued support for the data flow of the Atlantic economy.”
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