Tolerating Ambiguity: Reflections on the Schrems II Ruling

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Susanna Lindroos-Hovinheimo


This paper considers the European Court of Justice’s Schrems II ruling from a variety of angles. From a strictly legal point of view, considering the GDPR, the CJEU came to a logical conclusion. In this paper, I nevertheless try to think about other ways of understanding the dispute and the ruling. In addition to data protection law, the case is about surveillance, platform power, resistance, global politics, data territoriality and the Court’s competence. These sensitive issues come forth when the strict data protection issues are set aside and a slightly more open analysis undertaken. In the end, however, the ruling does bring about real-life problems that pertain to data protection law. Transfers of data to third countries are a pressing problem that no one seems to know how to solve. 

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