Published September 8, 2020 | Version v1
Preprint Open

International transfers of health research data following Schrems II: A problem in need of a solution

  • 1. FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur
  • 2. McGill University
  • 3. Inserm and University Toulouse III Paul Sabatier
  • 4. Good Clinical Practice Alliance - Europe (GCPA) & Strategic Initiative for Developing Capacity in Ethical Review (SIDCER)
  • 5. University of Campinas
  • 6. Karolinska Institutet and University of Gothenburg
  • 7. Cancer Research UK
  • 8. University of Southampton
  • 9. INRAE and University of Strasbourg


On July 16th, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a landmark decision in the case of Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Ltd, Maximillian Schrems (Schrems II) concerning the legality of Facebook’s transfers of personal data from the EU to the US. The decision has potentially significant effects on the ability of researchers to legitimately transfer personal data for health research purposes from countries inside the EU, to third countries outside the EU.[1] This article aims: i) to outline the consequences of the Schrems II decision for the legitimate sharing of personal data for health research between the EU and third countries, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic; and, in light of this elaboration, ii) to consider the avenues that might be pursued to remedy challenges posed by the decision and to facilitate international data exchange for health research moving forward.



Schrems II Hallinan et al Aug 2020 Vancouver With Footnotes v2 FIN.pdf

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RDA Europe 4.0 – The European plug-in to the global Research Data Alliance 777388
European Commission