Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Professor Peter Swire, Elizabeth and Thomas Holder Chair and professor of Law and Ethics, recently testified before Congress on “The Invalidation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the Future of Transatlantic Data Flow,” before the U.S. Senate Committee on Science, Commerce, and Transportation. Swire’s testimony focused on the recent Facebook Ireland v. Schrems (II) ruling by the European Union Court of Justice (CJEU).
The ruling has significant impact on U.S. companies’ ability to transfer data to and from the EU because it strikes down the Privacy Shield agreement which gave U.S. and EU companies the right to exchange data that may contain information on private citizens in order to conduct transatlantic business and monitor cybersecurity threats.
However, the court’s findings that the U.S. lacked adequate privacy protections did not specifically address foreign countries including China, which have weaker protections against government surveillance than the U.S. Swire says, “It is time for Europe to shine an enforcement spotlight on data transfers from its territory to authoritarian countries and other countries that lack the rule-of-law safeguards present in the U.S. system.”
As an expert in this field, Swire has written extensively on the subject including an op-ed piece titled “Geopolitical Implications of the European Court’s Schrems II Decision.” In this piece, he provides a detailed history of the legal actions brought before Irish and European Union courts on EU privacy rights and U.S. surveillance law, the implications for corporations and other entities conducting cross-border data exchanges, and some possible solutions for addressing the problem of transatlantic data flow.
Read the full op-ed story in Lawfare: “Geopolitical Implications of the European Court’s Schrems II Decision.”