14 July 2015

Data privacy concerns for charities using US-based social media sites


Alison Paines
Partner | UK

A case being considered in the European Court of Justice regarding access to personal data has highlighted the need for charities to be cautious about uploading personal or confidential information on Facebook or other similar US social media sites.

The case against Facebook was brought by Mr Maximilian Schrems, a law student from Austria. Mr Schrems' case argues that the 'Safe Harbour Framework', a system that allows US companies to deal with the personal data of EU citizens in a way that satisfies EU data-processing law, does not protect the privacy of EU citizens' data.

In a hearing earlier this year, the European Commission's advocate Mr Bernhard Schima, could not confirm to the Court that the Safe Harbour Framework provides adequate protection of EU citizens' data as it currently stands. He warned EU citizens that they should close their Facebook accounts if they wanted to keep information private from US security services.

The judgment in this case is expected to be reserved.

Category: Article

Client types: Charities and non-profit