BEERG: Supreme Court Decision Could Place EU, U.S. Law at Odds

March 02, 2018

A U.S. Supreme Court case that will determine whether companies can be compelled by the U.S. government via warrant to hand over data stored overseas may force companies to choose between complying with EU or U.S. law.  The EU’s European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in May, prohibits data transfer to countries outside of Europe unless EU authorities permit such transfer.  Yet, a ruling against Microsoft could mean that U.S. courts would be able to issue orders calling for data stored in Europe to be turned over to American government agencies.  The GDPR “unequivocally makes such access impermissible,” according to Thomas Kremer, Member of the Board of Management Deutsche Telekom AG for Data Privacy, Legal Affairs and Compliance.  Kremer writes in the BEERG Global Labor Newsletter: “If the U.S. government is pushing for a legal resolution to this matter, European institutions need to make it clear that such a resolution can provide legal clarity only in that government's own country, i.e. in the U.S. itself.  Such a resolution cannot be permitted to open the way to direct access to data stored in Europe.”  Read the full BEERG Global Labor Newsletter here.