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6 October 2015 (*)
(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Personal data — Protection of individuals with regard to the processing of
such data — Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Articles 7, 8 and 47 — Directive 95/46/EC —
Articles 25 and 28 — Transfer of personal data to third countries — Decision 2000/520/EC — Transfer of personal
data to the United States — Inadequate level of protection — Validity — Complaint by an individual whose data has
been transferred from the European Union to the United States — Powers of the national supervisory authorities)
In Case C‑362/14,
REQUEST for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU from the High Court (Ireland), made by decision of 17 July
2014, received at the Court on 25 July 2014, in the proceedings
Maximillian Schrems
Data Protection Commissioner,
joined party:
Digital Rights Ireland Ltd,
THE COURT (Grand Chamber),
composed of V. Skouris, President, K. Lenaerts, Vice-President, A. Tizzano, R. Silva de Lapuerta, T. von Danwitz
(Rapporteur), S. Rodin and K. Jürimäe, Presidents of Chambers, A. Rosas, E. Juhász, A. Borg Barthet,
J. Malenovský, D. Šváby, M. Berger, F. Biltgen and C. Lycourgos, Judges,
Advocate General: Y. Bot,
Registrar: L. Hewlett, Principal Administrator,
having regard to the written procedure and further to the hearing on 24 March 2015,
after considering the observations submitted on behalf of:
Mr Schrems, by N. Travers, Senior Counsel, P. O’Shea, Barrister-at-Law, G. Rudden, Solicitor, and H. Hofmann,
the Data Protection Commissioner, by P. McDermott, Barrister-at-Law, S. More O’Ferrall and D. Young, Solicitors,
Digital Rights Ireland Ltd, by F. Crehan, Barrister-at-Law, and S. McGarr and E. McGarr, Solicitors,
Ireland, by A. Joyce, B. Counihan and E. Creedon, acting as Agents, and D. Fennelly, Barrister-at-Law,
the Belgian Government, by J.-C. Halleux and C. Pochet, acting as Agents,
the Czech Government, by M. Smolek and J. Vláčil, acting as Agents,
the Italian Government, by G. Palmieri, acting as Agent, and P. Gentili, avvocato dello Stato,
the Austrian Government, by G. Hesse and G. Kunnert, acting as Agents,
the Polish Government, by M. Kamejsza, M. Pawlicka and B. Majczyna, acting as Agents,
the Slovenian Government, by A. Grum and V. Klemenc, acting as Agents,
the United Kingdom Government, by L. Christie and J. Beeko, acting as Agents, and J. Holmes, Barrister,
the European Parliament, by D. Moore, A. Caiola and M. Pencheva, acting as Agents,
the European Commission, by B. Schima, B. Martenczuk, B. Smulders and J. Vondung, acting as Agents,
the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), by C. Docksey, A. Buchta and V. Pérez Asinari, acting as Agents,
after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 23 September 2015,
gives the following
This request for a preliminary ruling relates to the interpretation, in the light of Articles 7, 8 and 47 of the Charter
of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’), of Articles 25(6) and 28 of Directive 95/46/EC of the
European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the
processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ 1995 L 281, p. 31), as amended by
Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 September 2003 (OJ 2003
L 284, p. 1) (‘Directive 95/46’), and, in essence, to the validity of Commission Decision 2000/520/EC of 26 July
2000 pursuant to Directive 95/46 on the adequacy of the protection provided by the safe harbour privacy principles
and related frequently asked questions issued by the US Department of Commerce (OJ 2000 L 215, p. 7).
The request has been made in proceedings between Mr Schrems and the Data Protection Commissioner (‘the
Commissioner’) concerning the latter’s refusal to investigate a complaint made by Mr Schrems regarding the fact
that Facebook Ireland Ltd (‘Facebook Ireland’) transfers the personal data of its users to the United States of
America and keeps it on servers located in that country.
Legal context
Directive 95/46
Recitals 2, 10, 56, 57, 60, 62 and 63 in the preamble to Directive 95/46 are worded as follows:


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