The End of Safe Harbour: Implications of the Schrems Judgement

16 October 2015, 12:30 - 14:00

Room B16, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

A lunchtime workshop of the ‘Technology and Democracy’ project

In a landmark judgment on October 7 the European Court of Justice has ruled that the Safe Harbour framework governing the transfer of EU citizens’ personal data to the US does not comply with the requirements of EU Data Protection law in light of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and is therefore invalid under EU law.

The Safe Harbour framework stemmed from a decision of the European Commission in 2000 (2000/520/EC) that the US afforded an adequate level of protection of personal data transferred to the US from the EU. This decision was made long before the EU Charter became part of EU law and more than a decade prior to the Edward Snowden revelations.

The ECJ’s judgment thus invalidates arrangements that for 15 years have allowed Internet companies to transfer the personal data of European users to server farms in the US and elsewhere. It has very wide-ranging implications — not just for data-protection law, but also for the economics of Internet companies and for international relations. This workshop will discuss some of those implications.

Panel: David Runciman (chair), John Naughton, Ross Anderson, Nora Ni Loideain

 

This three-year, philanthropically-funded project is exploring the implications of the digital revolution for democracy. It is based in the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) in the University of Cambridge and is led by Professor John Naughton and Professor David Runciman.