EU data transfer tools are legal, says EU court adviser in Facebook privacy case

FILE PHOTO: Facebook logos are seen on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Illustration/File Photo

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Tools used by hundreds of thousands of companies to transfer data abroad are legal as they offer sufficient privacy protection, an adviser to Europe’s top court said on Thursday, marking a win for Facebook in its seven-year dispute with Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems.

“Standard contractual clauses for the transfer of personal data to processors established in third countries is valid,” Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe, advocate general at the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), wrote in a non-binding opinion.

Schrems had argued that Facebook’s use of these clauses do not offer sufficient data protection safeguards. The court, which follows such recommendations in four out of five cases, will rule in the coming months.

Reporting by Michele Sinner, writing by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop