Sunday 16 December 2018

Facebook court appeal to be heard in January

Stock photo: Reuters
Stock photo: Reuters

Tim Healy

Facebook's unprecedented Supreme Court appeal aimed at halting a referral to the European Court of Justice (CJEU) of a case concerning the validity of EU-US data transfer channels will be heard in January.

The court previously set a provisional hearing date of December 19 but, following a case management hearing on Thursday, has now fixed January 21.

A UK-based data protection expert, Kevin Cahill, applied on Thursday to be joined to the appeal as an amicus curiae - assistant to the court.

But Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said the court would not join Mr Cahill as an amicus to the appeal.

Lawyers for Facebook and Max Schrems, whose complaints that Facebook's sending of his personal data to the US breached his data privacy rights led to the proceedings, opposed Mr Cahill's application while the Data Protection Commissioner adopted a neutral position.

The Facebook appeal, expected to last up to three days, will address issues including whether there is any entitlement in the first place to appeal a reference to the CJEU.

Facebook maintains it can appeal.

It also contends the High Court made incorrect findings of fact, including in relation to US law on foot of which it concluded the Data Protection Commissioner had "well-founded concerns" about the adequacy of protections in the US for data privacy rights of EU citizens.

Irish Independent

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