Many European organisations share data with organisations outside the EU, or rather the EEA, with data often being transferred to the US. Most of these organisations, 60% of them, relied on the Privacy Shield as a data transfer mechanism to the US. However, on July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidated the Privacy Shield, making the transfer of personal data to more than 5,500 US organisations (including the most used software tools) be in violation of the EU privacy law, the GDPR. The reason for invalidation: the law and practice of access to personal data by US intelligence services means that the protection of personal data by EU standards does not have an adequate level of protection.
In exactly one week, on the 16th of July, one of the most anticipated cases in data protection, case C-311/18 — Facebook Ireland versus Schrems — will be delivered by the EU Court of Justice (ECJ). What’s at stake is if international flows of personal data to and from the EEA can continue as is now, or if major changes will be required. The verdict in the groundbreaking "Schrems 2.0" case will dictate whether the widely used Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) and the EU/USA Privacy Shield will remain a valid means of transferring personal data to countries outside the EEA under the EU’s GDPR. As these mechanisms are used for a large majority of international data transfers, this may in turn have a large impact on organisations around the globe. In preparation for the case, we analyse the road so far, and what the possible outcomes could mean for your organisation in regard to data privacy.