EU to submit amicus brief in Microsoft/US Supreme Court data privacy case

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According to a report from Reuters, the European Union is set to submit an amicus brief in the Microsoft and US Supreme Court data privacy case. As we have reported before, this case has been at the forefront of the tech industry, mainly because it deals with the way content held on cloud servers on foreign soil is handled by governments seeking search warrants from tech giants.

The European Commission said it would not support either Microsoft or the United States Government in the ongoing case. The following statement was issued:

Given that the transfer of personal data by Microsoft from the EU to the U.S. would fall under the EU data protection rules, the Commission considered it to be in the interest of the EU to make sure that EU data protection rules on international transfers are correctly understood and taken into account by the U.S. Supreme Court

John Frank, Vice President for EU Government Affairs, Microsoft also issues a statement about the issue:

We welcome the EU’s involvement in the case. It is important that European voices are heard by the U.S. Supreme Court

It’s not certain what impact the amicus brief can have in this case, but Microsoft recently won an appeal, arguing that U.S. federal or state law enforcement cannot use search warrants to seize emails of citizens of foreign countries located in data centers outside the United States. Microsoft has since been waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case as part of a review of the recent victory.