AG Opinion issued in Schrems - Safe Harbor invalid. Are Model Contracts also at risk?

The Advocate General has today issued an opinion that the US Safe Harbor, and possibly its proposed replacement, are invalid. This enormously popular scheme (used by thousands of US businesses) should not, in the Advocate General’s opinion, continue to provide a justification for transfers of personal data to the United States (Schrems C-362/14).

Organisations currently using Safe Harbor should consider implementing alternative mechanisms. This might include Model Contracts. However, much of the reasoning behind the opinion is also applicable to transfers of personal data to the United States based on Model Contracts.

The Advocate General’s opinion is not binding, though is normally followed by the European Court of Justice. A final decision should follow in the next few months.

We consider the implications in detail here.