With the Irish High Court yesterday (3 October) taking the significant step of referring the Schrems II case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), on the question of the validity of the Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC), there is again significant legal uncertainty around international data transfers.

The Irish High Court agreed with the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) that neither the Privacy Shield Ombudsperson nor the ability to suspend or prohibit data flows under Article 4 of the SCC decision, eliminate the DPCs well-founded concerns about the adequacy of protection afforded to EU residents data when its transferred to the US and wrongfully interfered with by the US security services.

The uncertainty created by Schrems II highlights the need for the UK and the EU to reach an agreement on post Brexit data flows which creates certainty around data flows for both the European Union and United Kingdom.