EFPIA statement on the Court of Justice of the European Union decision on transatlantic data transfers

EFPIA notes the decision of the CJEU in the case C-311/18, Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems. In the decision, the Court confirmed the validity of the EU Standard Contractual Clauses as a mechanism for international data transfers, while invalidating the EU-US Privacy Shield. Following the judgement, EFPIA urges the European authorities to work with the US authorities to find a stable long-term basis for transatlantic data flows, including the elaboration of sectoral contractual clauses.

As we have recently seen in relation to the Pandemic, disruptions to flows of health data can jeopardise public health. Such international data transfers are vital to the goals of improving patient treatments and patient safety, cultivating public health, and accelerating the availability of innovative therapies. International transfers of personal information for purposes of medical research and monitoring drug reactions are therefore  necessary for important reasons of substantial public interest. These transfers take place pursuant to legal and ethical frameworks that ensure the confidentiality of the data and protection of individual privacy rights. The proposal for draft sectoral contractual clauses which were submitted by EFPIA to the EC Commission in 2019 reflect these specificities.