US Data Privacy Law Expert Informs Of Obstacles To Privacy Redress For European Union Citizens
Feb 23, 2017 08:07 PM EST
The US High Court was informed earlier by a privacy law expert that European Union citizens were facing multiple obstacles under the US law and are suspecting data privacy breaches. Currently, there are numerous legal and different remedies for breach of data privacy in the US, but Prof Andrew Serwin is uncertain as to how far they go in regards to EU citizens.
According to Irish Times, Serwin stated that those who believe that their data privacy rights were being compromised are facing difficulties bringing the issue to light. One such mentioned obstacle is the need to establish that surveillance actually took place as well as securing a necessary standing in order to bring a reliable case before the US courts.
Professor Serwin is an expert witness for the Data Protection Commissioner. On Wednesday, his report regarding the ongoing case of European Commission decisions' validity allowing the use of EU-US data transfer channels known as standard contractual clauses (SCCs) led to his examination.
The case arose after Max Schrems, an Austrian lawyer, filed a complaint about the transfer of his personal information by Facebook Ireland to its US parent branch. According to TechCrunch, Facebook makes use of of a data transfer mechanism to authorize its processing of Europeans' data in the U.S. This is undoubtedly a breach to Schrems data privacy rights as a European Union citizen. The draft made by the commissioner found Schrems objections to be "well-founded".
Earlier on Wednesday, Justice Caroline Costello denied applications filed by three organisations namely the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Centre (Epic), the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and Digital Europe. The applications were to allow the companies to submit sworn evidence on matters of concern to them.
The denial came after the three companies, alongside the US government, who joined as amici curiae to the case now sought to provide affidavits which as assistants on legal issues to the court is not within their jurisdiction. The US government, however, made no attempt to provide sworn evidence but will be making submissions
Although no absolute rule exists which denies amicus to adduce evidence, the general rule indicated that an amicus was not permitted to provide evidence, she stated. The case is still continuing and while initially listed for three weeks, it seems likely to run for at least five now.