US court rules in favour of Microsoft, gov't can't force access to email on Irish server

"“The ruling is a striking victory for privacy over the threat of government access and overreach,” Omer Tene, vice president of research and education at at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), told SC via email. “It recognises that national borders exist even in cyber-space and the cloud. It places an emphasis on the location of data and servers in deciding which legal regime applies.” 

The Second Circuit Court's ruling comes just days after the EU-US Privacy Shield was approved by the 28 members of the EU and the European Commission (EC).

Privacy Shield had hit some glitches on its way to approval as European privacy advocates and regulators expressed concern that it didn't adequately address the chief issue that got its predecessor, Safe Harbour, tossed by a European Court of Justice – mass surveillance of private citizens.

“The [Second Circuit] decision limits the power of the [US government] to access data stored in Europe,” said Tene. Although it doesn't address bulk data collection for national security reasons, the core concern of privacy advocates and regulators in Europe, both Tene and Falcone noted, the ruling will likely be referenced going forward."