In the French LeMonde newspaper op-ed piece, Peter Swire writes about the July 9th Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) oral argument of Case C-311/18 which discusses if U.S. surveillance practices violate the fundamental rights of EU citizens. This case could potentially rupture the mechanisms that allow personal data to flow across the Atlantic. Should the Court so decide, it would soon be illegal for companies and services we use every day to transfer personal data from the EU to the U.S.
Swire notes that countries now rely on the European Commissions’ Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC); standards that set strict guidelines for companies handling and transferring personal data from the EU. However, a CJEU decision that overturns the SCC would prohibit exchanges of data from the EU to the U.S, but would not affect personal data transfers from the EU to China, which Swire says would “raise serious international trade issues by unfairly discriminating against one trading partner (US) while allowing worse abuses by another (China).”