Eleven questions from Schrems case to be referred to CJEU

A total of 11 questions will be referred to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) on the validity under EU law of EU-US data transfers by Facebook, the Irish Examiner reports.

The High Court agreed last October to a request from the Data Protection Commissioner to make the referral 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.

Mr Schrems opposed a referral because he felt the Commissioner already had enough information to make a final ruling on his complaint.

The 11 questions set out in court by Ms Justice Caroline Costello yesterday include whether the High Court correctly found that there is “mass indiscriminate processing” of data by US government agencies under the Prism and Upstream programmes.

Others include whether the Privacy Shield Decision affords adequate protection for EU citizens; the extent of a data protection authority’s power to suspend data flows where it believes a third country’s surveillance laws conflict with EU law; which laws a breach of an EU citizen’s data privacy rights must be measured against; and whether articles 7 and 8 of the EU Charter are being breached.

The referral is likely to be made following a further hearing on 30 April.