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EU-US Safe Harbor agreement is invalid, court rules

Peter Sayer | Oct. 7, 2015
The EU-US Safe Harbor agreement on the transfer of personal data is invalid, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled Tuesday.

Schrems welcomed the CJEU's ruling Tuesday in a posting to the website of, a campaign group he fronts.

"This judgement draws a clear line. It clarifies that mass surveillance violates our fundamental rights,” he wrote. The decision also highlights that governments and businesses cannot simply ignore our fundamental right to privacy, but must abide by the law and enforce it."

In a non-binding preliminary opinion last month the court's Advocate General, Yves Bot, went far beyond the question asked of the court, saying that not only should data protection authorities investigate complaints, but also that the Safe Harbor agreement is invalid because it provides inadequate protection.

The court's Grand Chamber appears to have closely followed Bot's opinion.


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