Territoriality will continue to be one of the most vexing problems for data regulation in 2018. One aspect of this debate relates to whether a U.S. judge can compel the disclosure of personal data located in Europe without using international treaty mechanisms. This issue is currently being considered by the United States Supreme Court in the case United States v. Microsoft. The case involves the question of whether a U.S. statute relating to search warrants can be interpreted as extending to a search for data located outside the United States; in this case, the data is located in Ireland. The U.S. Court of Appeals found that, in the absence of express wording in the statute relating to extraterritorial application, the statute should be interpreted as being limited to searches conducted within the territory of the United States. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing the case. In December, 2017, the European Commission filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to give due consideration to the principles of international comity and territoriality when interpreting the U.S. statute.
Last Monday, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the Microsoft search warrant case, a case in which Microsoft challenged the U.S. government’s right to use the warrant process to obtain certain emails stored overseas. Some view the upcoming decision as signaling the level of access the U.S. government will have to the growing troves of data U.S.-based technology companies hold about citizens of the world. And regulators in the EU and other jurisdictions may view a reversal of the Second Circuit decision as a negative factor when considering the protections the U.S. government afford their citizens’ data. The case was previously decided twice in Microsoft’s favor in the Second Circuit, which declined to grant en banc review by a 4-4 decision.
Hogan Lovells today published the next installment in a series of White Papers examining government access to data held by service providers. Today’s publication, An Analysis of Service Provider Transparency Reports on Government Requests for Data, examines the most recent transparency reports published by Google, Microsoft, Skype, Twitter, and LinkedIn concerning law enforcement requests for data in multiple countries, concluding that when the numbers are adjusted for population sizes and the number of Internet users in each respective country, they reveal that the U.S. government requests information from these providers at a rate comparable to — and sometimes lower than — that of several other countries, including many European Union member states.
Hogan Lovells Privacy and Information Management practice leader Chris Wolf recenrtly moderated a panel on cloud computing in Washington, DC featuring government and industry leaders. This blog entry points to a report containing a full-length video of the session.
Hogan Lovells Privacy and Information Management practice leader Chris Wolf will moderate a complimentary lunchtime panel on cloud computing on Tuesday, November 15th in Washington, DC featuring government and industry leaders. Readers of the Hogan Lovells Chronicle of Data Protection are invited to attend and participate. For a place at the event, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org