As reported earlier (see article here), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has declared that the ‘Safe Harbor’ decision is invalid as it does not sufficiently protect the fundamental rights of EU citizens.

In a statement issued by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC), the Commissioner welcomed the Schrems judgment and welcomed the emphasis placed by the CJEU on “the fundamental importance attaching to the right of individuals to the protection of their personal data”.

In respect of the role and responsibilities assumed by national data protection authorities, the Commissioner noted that “thejudgment 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 judgment followed a reference by the Irish High Court to the CJEU in respect of the validity of the ‘Safe Harbor’ framework and it will now be for the High Court to consider this judgment. The Commissioner advised that the ODPC legal team has been instructed “to take whatever actions are necessary to bring the case back as soon as practicable before the Irish High Court”.

In light of the significance of this judgment, the Commissioner will now “immediately engage with colleagues in other national supervisory authorities across Europe to determine how the judgment can be implemented in practice, quickly and effectively, particularly insofar as it impacts on EU/US data transfers”.