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Data Protection Commission

 Statement by Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon in respect of the Judgement in Case C-362/14 – Schrems


“I welcome today’s (6 October 2015) judgement from the CJEU.

The issues dealt with in the judgement are complex. While they will require careful consideration, what is immediately clear is that the Court has reiterated the fundamental importance attaching to the right of individuals to the protection of their personal data. That is very much to be welcomed.

In articulating the level of responsibility that the national data protection authorities in each member state will bear, the judgement also clarifies the mechanisms by which data privacy rights must be protected by national data protection supervisory authorities, and the relationship between those authorities and the European Commission.

The judgement will now be considered by the Irish High Court, the High Court having referred a number of questions to the CJEU in relation to the “safe harbour” scheme in July 2014. I immediately instructed the DPC legal team this morning to take whatever actions are necessary to bring the case back as soon as practicable before the Irish High Court. The High Court has listed the matter for Tuesday 20 October at 10.15am.

In declaring the old “safe harbour” rules invalid, however, the significance of the judgement extends far beyond the case presently pending in Ireland. In that regard, my Office will immediately engage with our colleagues in other national supervisory authorities across Europe to determine how the judgement can be implemented in practice, quickly and effectively, particularly insofar as it impacts on EU/US data transfers.”

For media enquiries, please contact the Data Protection Commissioner on +353 (0)57 868 4800, or media@dataprotection.ie