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Dixon is taking this litigation to comply with an order from both the Irish High Court and the European Court of Justice that she should investigate the original complaint made by Austrian law student Max Schrems in June 2013, and subsequently amended by him to include the complaint about SCCs.

Schrems took his complaint about transfer of data from the EU to the US, which focused on Facebook’s data collection and transfer to the US, to Ireland because the Irish data commissioner is responsible for regulating Facebook throughout the European Union.

The Irish data protection commissioner lost control of the original complaint when Schrems went to the Irish High Court in 2013. His aim was to have the refusal by Dixon’s predecessor, Billy Hawkes, to look at the complaint examined by a judge.

Read more about the Dublin court case

This occurred with spectacular effect, leading to an Irish High Court finding of fact that Schrems’ complaint, mainly about Prism, the US surveillance programme, was justified.

The Irish High Court findings in June 2014, which included a determination that the US was engaged in “mass and indiscriminate surveillance”, were referred to the European Court of Justice. That court ruled in October 2015 that the Safe Harbour agreement for the transfer of data between the EU and the US was invalid.

At that point SCCs were adopted by companies to keep business flowing. The Article 29 Regulators reluctantly agreed to this.

In the meantime, the Irish data commissioner was faced with two problems: the order to investigate Schrems’ complaint; and the content of his complaint.

The practical effect of the court actions initiated by Dixon is to postpone the core content of Schrems’ complaint, which is Prism, until such time as the European Court of Justice rules on SCCs.

Source : http://www.computerweekly.com/news/450412511/How-a-Dublin-court-case-could-derail-EU-US-data-privacy-agreements

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