Thousands of companies were turned into lawbreakers at a stroke the last time the High Court of Ireland referred a question about data protection to the Court of Justice of the European Union. And it may be about to do it again.

That means yet more uncertainty for companies processing European citizens’ personal information in the U.S., as they struggle to keep up with the changes in privacy regulations triggered by the CJEU’s response to the Irish court’s last question.

Under EU law, citizens’ personal information can only be exported to jurisdictions guaranteeing a similar level of privacy protection to that required by the 1995 Data Protection Directive.

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New court request raises further doubts about transatlantic data transfers