Failure in Irish court: Facebook data blocking is possible

Failure in Irish court: Facebook data blocking is possible

Defeat in Irish court
Blocking data on Facebook is possible

This decision will have far-reaching repercussions for Facebook: the European-based group in Ireland faces legal defeat against the local data protection authority. It may prohibit the transfer of personal user data from the European Union to the USA.

Facebook has suffered a legal setback in Ireland, which will soon end data transfer from the European Union to the USA. Irish Supreme Court rejects tech giant’s request to block Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) probe into data transfer Judge David Barniville said Facebook was rejecting the claim from Ireland. The court initially approved a temporary injunction in September.

The Data Protection Commission welcomed the court decision. DPC can now ban the transfer of personal data from Facebook users from the European Union to the USA – so this has a critical impact on Facebook’s business model. Facebook has its European headquarters in Ireland. The Irish Data Protection Authority is therefore required to investigate if the company violates EU rules.

The Irish Authority has responded to a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last July that Facebook is legally competing. Five years after the end of the EU data protection agreement “Safe Harbor” with the USA, the subsequent agreement “Shield Shield” was declared null and void. In principle, it was possible to transfer data to the USA on the basis of so-called standard contract terms, because in the opinion of the ECJ, adequate protection systems exist. However, the Irish Data Protection Agency believed that these clauses were not legal and launched an investigation on 28 August.

Immediate procedure for update

Max Shrems, an Austrian who has been facing a legal dispute with Facebook for years, said on Twitter that the DPC could now prevent the transfer of Facebook data from the European Union to the USA within two months. Despite the request, there was initially no response from Facebook speakers.

Only on Tuesday did the Hamburg Data Protection Authority ban the processing of user data from the messenger service WhatsApp for its own purposes. The Hamburg Data Protection Authority said the ban would be in place for three months as part of an emergency procedure. Background is a controversial update on WhatsApp that users must approve by May 15th.

International criticism has recently surfaced that the update means WhatsApp user data is in the hands of tech giant Facebook. The new terms of use will enable companies to chat with customers or make phone calls on WhatsApp. However, users’ contacts and profile data must be transferred to Facebook.

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