“Safe Harbour” ruling: Civil Liberties MEPs to debate data transfer protection

The European Court of Justice’s 6 October ruling that the “Safe Harbour” agreement on data transfers to the US is in fact unsafe will be debated by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs on Monday afternoon. The court found in favour of Max Schrems, who argued that Facebook transfers of EU citizens’ data to the US does not afford the adequate protection required by EU law. The committee debate will be based on a presentation prepared by Parliament’s Legal Service.

Austrian citizen Max Schrems brought a case arguing that Edward Snowden’s revelations of the US National Security Agency’s PRISM data collection programme, under which EU citizens’ data held by US companies was passed on to US intelligence companies, calls into question the adequacy of the data protection afforded by the Safe Harbour agreement.

After the ruling, Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) called on the European Commission to act immediately to provide clarity and proper data protection standards for data transfers to the US.

The European Parliament has repeatedly called for the suspension of Safe Harbour, most recently in its 2014 resolution on the surveillance carried out by the NSA.

Follow the debate in the Civil Liberties Committee live on EP Live