POSTS BY Christopher Kuner

Data Protection, Data Transfers, and International Agreements: the CJEU’s Opinion 1/15

On 26 July the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) issued Opinion 1/15, which is its most significant ruling on the international dimensions of data protection law since its 2015 judgment in the Schrems case. In Opinion 1/15, the Grand Chamber of the Court found that the draft agreement between the EU and Canada for the transfer of passenger name record (PNR) data may not be concluded in its current form, since several of its provisions are incompatible with EU fundamental rights law. As the Court’s first ruling on the compatibility of a draft international agreement with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the judgment has important implications for many areas of EU law.

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The Sinking of the Safe Harbor

The judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner (Case C-362/14) is a landmark in EU data protection law, but one about which I have serious misgivings. While I share the Court’s concern regarding the surveillance practices of the US government (and other governments for that matter) and some of its criticisms of the EU-US Safe Harbor Arrangement, I take exception to its lack of interest in the practical effects of the judgment and the global context in which EU law must operate.

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