Facebook Granted 'Unprecedented' Leave To Appeal Over Referral Of Privacy Shield Case To Top EU Court

from the never-a-dull-moment dept

Back in April, we wrote about the latest development in the long, long saga of Max Schrem's legal challenge to Facebook's data transfers from the EU to the US. The Irish High Court referred the case to the EU's top court, asking the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to rule on eleven issues that the judge raised. Facebook tried to appeal against the Irish High Court's decision, but the received wisdom was that it was not an option for CJEU referrals of this kind. But as the Irish Times reports, to everyone's surprise, it seems the received wisdom was wrong:

The [Irish] Supreme Court has agreed to hear an unprecedented appeal by Facebook over a High Court judge's decision to refer to the European Court of Justice (CJEU) key issues concerning the validity of EU-US data transfer channels.

The Irish Chief Justice rejected arguments by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner and Schrems that Facebook could not seek to have the Supreme Court reverse certain disputed findings of fact by the High Court. The judge said that it was "at least arguable" Facebook could persuade the Supreme Court that some or all of the facts under challenge should be reversed. On that basis, the appeal could go ahead. Among the facts that would be considered were the following key points:

The chief justice said Facebook was essentially seeking that the Supreme Court "correct" the alleged errors, including the High Court findings of "mass indiscriminate" processing, that surveillance is legal unless forbidden, on the doctrine of legal standing in US law and in the consideration of other issues including safeguards.

Facebook also argues the High Court erred in finding the laws and practices of the US did not provide EU citizens with an effective remedy, as required under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, for breach of data privacy rights.

Those are crucial issues not just for Facebook, but also for the validity of the entire Privacy Shield framework, which is currently under pressure in the EU. It's not clear whether the Irish Supreme Court is really prepared to overrule the High Court judge, and to what extent the CJEU will take note anyway. One thing that is certain is that a complex and important case just took yet another surprising twist.

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Filed Under: cjeu, eu, eu court of justice, ireland, max schrems, privacy shield
Companies: facebook


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2018 @ 9:39am

    The chief justice said Facebook was essentially seeking that the Supreme Court "correct" the alleged errors, including the High Court findings ... that surveillance is legal unless forbidden

    Facebook wants them to decide that surveillance is not legal? What would they stand to gain by that? That would seem to work against Facebook w.r.t. their own surveillance efforts (tracking people via "like" buttons etc.).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2018 @ 9:40am

    'Unprecedented'

    Once again, the legal system favors the rich and powerful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Thad, 2 Aug 2018 @ 10:09am

    out_of_the_blue's heroes, ladies and gentlemen!

    This morning I went into my bathroom and there were ants wandering around. They hadn't formed a line yet, but there were maybe a dozen, moving around and exploring. I didn't see them in any other rooms; I couldn't find where they were coming from but I think it was probably under the floor.

    Read the rest at link...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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