August 11, 2022

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Facebook risks blocking data transfer from Europe to the US

The Irish Data Protection Authority has decided Prevent sending user data from the European Union to the United States by Metathe parent company of Facebook. At the moment it is only one Preliminary decision and will not involve any instant block. The draft ruling has been sent to other European privacy authorities, who will have month for approvalPursuant to Article 60 of the European data protection regulation (Gedber).

We could have come to one of the last chapters of the legal clash between the Meta and the European authorities for the protection of personal data, which began about 9 years ago, thanks to the actions of the then law student Max ShrimsPersonal data protection activist for the first time Brought the issue of data transmission For Facebook users in the US, before European privacy guarantors.

His actions led to two sentences, named after his nickname Shremes I And the Shremes IIWhich European authorities tried to solve the problem with. The first sentence led the two sides of the Atlantic to enter into an agreement called Privacy Shieldwhich, however, was abolished with the second sentence, as it still did not provide sufficient guarantees for European citizens to assert their rights.

In the 2020 So the European Court of Justice overturned the Privacy Schield, Completely eliminates the ability of US companies to transfer European user data to the USThis is due to weak government guarantees regarding the use of this data. Since then, Mark Zuckerberg’s company has been repeatedly warned to stop the flow of data, but thereNo action taken by the Irish Privacy Supervisorwhere Facebook’s registered office is located in the European Union, allowed the company to continue transferring data.

However, this is not an imminent stopBecause, in fact, the authorities of the various member states will have one month to comment on the initial decision of the Irish supervisor. In addition, European data protection authorities have repeatedly opposed important decisions of their Irish counterparts, and if this happens again, The final decision must be made by votingbased on the provisions of Article 65 of the Gdpr.

Will a new privacy alliance between Europe and the United States solve old problems?

Brussels and Washington launch a framework agreement for the transatlantic data transfer, which was blocked in 2020 by virtue of the law. But there are some practical and legal aspects to consider

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according to sharms The Irish admin’s decision will likely be blocked by other authorities, above all because it omits some important issues on the subject. Among these, the project Do not specify whether the decision will be retroactive Or it will only affect future data transfers Or whether it will also result in a fine for Meta for misconduct in recent years.

Furthermore, according to the activist’s comment: Facebook will seek to delay any effective data transfer ban. “Ireland will have to send the police to Physically cut the cables, before these transfers are actually stopped. While it would be easy and effective to fine the Meta for transfers of past years, but by the conduct of the Irish authority, It seems that the guarantor just wants this case to continue aimlessly“, Schrems said.

In addition to, Meta has repeatedly threatened to stop all of its services in Europe, if the authorities will block all data transfers, without agreement. A warning that frightens a large part of the European business sector. The position of the European Union and the United States Negotiating a new text on data transfer, to allow companies like Meta to continue sending data across the Atlantic regardless of Irish law. In March, Brussels and Washington overtook Initial agreement at the political levelHowever, it is unlikely that an agreement will be reached before the end of the year.

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