On 31 July, the chief judge of the Southern District of New York delivered the latest in a series of controversial judgments stemming from a test case brought by Microsoft in an extra-territorial warrant issued under the U.S. Stored Communications Act. In the third ruling on the matter, the court found in favour of the U.S. government, upholding the warrant and ordering that Microsoft turn over customer emails stored in a data centre in Ireland. The District Court agreed to stay the order while the decision is appealed further. If Microsoft’s final appeal is dismissed, the case will have significant implications for all U.S. businesses that store customer data overseas. The implications also extend to non-U.S. customers, including those companies located within the EEA, that have entered agreements with U.S.-based companies to store their data outside the U.S. In particular, there is concern that foreign companies and consumers will lose trust in the ability of American companies to protect the privacy of their data.
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