Schrems II discussed in Parliament: where do we go from here?

At the Civil Liberties (LIBE Committee) in the European Parliament, stakeholders discussed Schrems II ruling. MEPs voiced concern over lack of legal certainty to outrage at this repetitive ongoing issue. Fear of China was highlighted.

Commissioner Didier Reynders explained that a common solution must be found. Data protection must travel with the data across the world. To that purpose, the Commission is working along three lines: (a) Work with DPAs. EDPB already published guidance and is preparing a second one. (b) Adoption of the SCC by the end of the year. The Commission has already started the work and will present a draft before the end of the year. (c) Discussion with the USA.

Chair of the EDPB Mrs Jelinek underlined the importance of the Schrems II ruling. EDPB is working to provide additional guidance to controllers. EDPB will work to provide consistent interpretation and treatment in data in light of this ruling. The implication of the judgment applies to all transfers in all third countries, not only to the US.  Regardless of the tool used (SCC or BCR), the standard of essential equivalence must be met. The judgement did not invalidate the SCC but they must be assessed in the context used. Derogations under 49 of the GDPR must be treated as derogations ie exceptions- used on a case by case basis and not as a rule. The weight is on the shoulders of the controllers to assess if the essential equivalence is met. Controllers have to cease transfer if the standards are not met.There is no one size solution or a quick solution.

For activist Max Schrems, the issue is that we have two different legislative obligations. There is no room for a new deal unless EU or EU law changes unless there is a clear change of approach. For the SCC, they cannot be sued by companies which fall under USA surveillance law without breaching EU law.

MEPs voiced concern over lack of legal certainty to outrage at this repetitive ongoing issue.