AUSTRIAN lawyer Max Schrems says the main protections provided by the US for data privacy rights of EU citizens have no statutory basis and "could be altered tomorrow".
The claim was made in the High Court on behalf of Mr Schrems in the ongoing action by the Data Protection Commissioner.
Helen Dixon wants the High Court to refer to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) the question of the validity or otherwise of European Commission decisions of 2001, 2004 and 2010 approving EU-US data transfer channels known as standard contractual clauses (SCCs).
The major protections are said to be presidential and executive orders and directives, along with the Ombudsperson provided for under the 2016 Privacy Shield framework agreement between the European Commission and US on data transfers, Eoin McCullough SC, for Mr Schrems, said.
These are "simple administrative schemes with no statutory basis" that "may well be ephemeral", counsel said.
The Data Commissioner wants the CJEU to determine legal issues for her investigation into a complaint by Mr Schrems that transfer of his personal data by Facebook Ireland to the US breaches his data privacy rights as a EU citizen. The case continues on Tuesday.