Peter Swire’s Op-ed: Schrems II Ruling Could Rupture Trans-Atlantic Data Flows

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Prof. Peter Swire, Research Director of the Cross-Border Data Forum, recently published an opinion piece, first in French in Le Monde, and then in English in the European Law Blog, with the title “the US, China, and Case 311/18 on Standard Contractual Clauses.” The piece argues that the Court of Justice of the European Union’s decision in the Schrems II case could create a privacy absurdity: Trans-Atlantic data flows to the U.S. would be halted for fear of intrusive surveillance, but European data would still flow freely to China, “a nation with surveillance practices ripped from the pages of a dystopian science fiction novel.” Swire has also published an annotated bibliography supporting the factual and legal points made in the article.

The CJEU heard oral arguments for Schrems II on July 9, 2019.  Advocate General Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe indicated he will publish his opinion on December 12, 2019, and the full court’s final decision is expected to follow in the first quarter of 2020.

Prof. Swire participated as an independent expert witness concerning U.S. law in the Schrems II case before the Irish High Court, at Facebook’s selection. Swire provided independent oral and written testimony before the High Court, but has not participated any further in the litigation since that time.

These statements are attributable only to the author, and their publication here does not necessarily reflect the view of the Cross-Border Data Forum or any participating individuals or organizations.