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December 19, 2019

CJEU issues legal opinion on Facebook data transfer case / Ofcom publishes European broadband speeds / Senate committee explores impact of wildfires on electric grid

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

CJEU issues legal opinion on Facebook data transfer case

The European Court of Justice is set to issue a legal opinion in a landmark case that will have far-reaching implications for how Facebook and other EU businesses transfer data between the EU and the US.

The EU’s top court heard evidence in July 2019 from privacy activist Max Schrems, who lodged a complaint against Facebook with the Irish data authority. His complaint revolves around the transfer of his personal data across the Atlantic by the social media firm.

The issue centres on standard contractual clauses, a mechanism by which Facebook and other companies transfer personal data from the EU to the US. SCCs are designed to safeguard EU personal data when transferred to a third country outside of the EU.

The CJEU is expected to issue its opinion – a written statement explaining its application of the law –  at 08:30 GMT from Luxembourg.

Ofcom publishes European Broadband Scorecard 2019

Ofcom, the UK’s broadcasting and telecommunications regulator, publishes its annual report comparing broadband speeds, prices and usage across Europe.

The European Broadband Scorecard has been compiled since 2013 “for the purpose of measuring and comparing the UK’s relative performance”.

Over the last few years, the UK has lagged behind its European counterparts in the rollout of full-fibre, which became a key general election campaign point.

This year’s report had been delayed due to additional “quality assurance checks”.

Impact of wildfires on electric grid explored in Senate committee hearing

The US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources holds a hearing to explore the impact of wildfires on the electric grid.

It follows a still-ongoing wildfire season in California, which has so far involved over 6,800 wildfires.

Millions were left without electricity as a result of the destruction. The committee will examine ways to mitigate wildfire risk and “increase grid resiliency”.

The hearing will take place at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC, at 14:30 GMT.

Wednesday’s Highlights


It’s “certainly likely” that next two astronauts on Moon will both be women, NASA director says

Cybersecurity predictions for 2020: 45 industry experts have their say

Getting to grips with multiple clouds