Internet jurisdiction may have taken an interesting turn now that the EU asserted that servers outside the EU are subject to EU law. On June 25, 2013 Niilo Jaaskinen, the independent Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, issued an Opinion that the EU Data Protective Directive applies to search engines that contain data about EU citizens. That is, regardless of the location of the servers, the EU claims it has jurisdiction over Google, and other search engines. The Washington Post reported that:
…Google or other companies cannot argue they are not subject to local data regulators’ authority because their servers are physically located in another country.
The 1995 EU Data Protective Directive allows EU citizens to correct data on computers if it is incorrect, but previous to this Opinion the jurisdiction was thought to apply to servers in the EU.
Actually this Opinion was generally in favor of Google on a different legal issue – the “right to be forgotten” that the EU “…cannot require an internet search engine service provider to withdraw information” since:
…the Directive does not establish a general ‘right to be forgotten’. Such a right cannot therefore be invoked against search engine service providers on the basis of the Directive, even when it is interpreted in accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
This Opinion may lead to a change in international Internet jurisdiction, however the Opinion is not binding on the Court of Justice. So we will see more litigation before the jurisdiction issue is resolved.
This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney.
This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary.
The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites.
In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.