Facebook Faces Fresh Probe From Irish Data Regulat…
Facebook’s policy has triggered Ireland’s data regulator to issue the social media giant six weeks to respond to an investigation or face ban following a High Court ruling that the probe could resume.
Ireland’s plight emanated from European Union concerns that U.S. government surveillance may not respect the privacy rights of EU citizens when their personal data is sent to the United States for commercial use.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), Facebook’s lead regulator in the EU, launched the inquiry last August and issued a provisional order that the main mechanism Facebook uses to transfer EU user data to the United States “cannot in practice be used”.
“Following Thursday’s High Court hearing, we have written to Facebook and have given them six weeks to provide us with their submissions,” a spokesman for the DPC said in a statement after the court lifted a freeze on the provisional order this week.
Facebook had challenged both the inquiry and the provisional order, saying they threatened “devastating” and “irreversible” consequences for its business, which relies on processing user data to serve targeted online ads. A Step believed to be in the wrong direction by the European Union and The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA
The ruling does not set off an immediate halt to data flow, but Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, who pushed the Irish data regulator into a series of legal actions over the past eight years, said he believed the decision made it inevitable. A step NITDA is looking forward to take.
“Given the foregoing and other emerging issues around international technology companies, NITDA, with stakeholders, is exploring all options to ensure Nigerians do not become victims of digital colonialism. Our national security, dignity and individual privacy are cherished considerations we must not lose.”
A company spokesman said Facebook looked forward to defending its compliance with EU rules as the Irish regulator’s provisional order “could be damaging not only to Facebook, but also to users and other businesses”.
If the Irish regulator enforces the provisional order, it would effectively end the privileged access that U.S. companies have to personal data from Europe and put them on the same footing as companies in other nations outside the bloc.