Rights groups want to join data case

Digital Rights Ireland and a US-based civil liberties group want to be joined to a pending case here over data protection rights with significant international implications, a High Court judge heard yesterday.

The US government this week also secured leave to bring an application to be joined to the High Court action, initiated by Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon. It follows her draft finding last month Austrian lawyer Max Schrems had raised “well-founded” objections that data transfers by Facebook Ireland to its parent in the US breach his data privacy rights under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.

Lawyers for the US government said on Monday it wants to be joined as an amicus curiae because of the significant issues raised in the Commissioner’s case.

Similar applications are being brought by the Business Software Alliance, representing the interests of internet giants including Apple, Microsoft and Intel; the Irish Business and Employers Confederation; and US Chamber of Commerce.

The judge granted leave to bring those applications, to be decided at a later date along with the other amicus applications.

The judge has returned the case to June 27.


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