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Facebook said it may stop operating in Europe if the EU suspends all data transfers to the US

Facebook says it may discontinue operating its main app and Instagram in Europe, due to the new laws affecting how it transports data from the EU to the United States.

Highlights:

  • Facebook suggested it may discontinue operating its core app and Instagram in Europe if it’s bound to bar transfers of Europe data back to the US.
  • In a court filing on the judgment, Facebook stated it has 410 million regularly active users in Europe.
  • Facebook’s judicial fight with Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) originates from a preliminary order published beginning this month by the DPC asking the legality of the mechanism Facebook presently practices to send data back to the US.

Facebook might not operate in Europe due to the new regulations!

Complete story!

Facebook registered an affidavit to Ireland’s high court on September 10, with Ireland’s Business Post being the prime to record on the report on Sunday.

In the affidavit, the company questioned an initial order circulated by Ireland’s data privacy watchdog the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) at the beginning of this month, which threatened to bar Facebook from transferring EU data back to the United States over privacy interests.

“If the Petitioner [Facebook] was subjected to an entire suspension of the transfer of users’ data to the United States, as seems to be what the DPC intends, it is not apparent to the Applicant how, in those situations, it could proceed to give the Facebook and Instagram services in the EU,” wrote Facebook Ireland’s head of data protection and associate general counsel Yvonne Cunnane, continuing that Facebook has 410 million active users in Europe per month.

A Facebook spokesperson rejected that this created a threat to eliminate from the EU.

“Facebook is not intimidating to depart from Europe. Legal documents registered with the Irish High Court set out the mere fact that Facebook, and several other businesses, organizations, and services, rely on data transfers between the EU and the United States to perform their services,” Facebook’s spokesperson said in a comment.

“A loss of secure, safe, and legal international data transfers would harm the economy and hinder the growth of data-driven businesses in the EU, just as we attempt recovery from the pandemic COVID-19,” he added.

Vice News that received a full version of Facebook’s affidavit proclaimed the tech giant also accused it was being harmed, as the DPC had likewise targeted no other United States tech companies. The DPC’s initial order called into subject whether the system Facebook presently exercises to send data back to the United States, called Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) is lawfully legitimate in the case of sending data to the United States.

Standard Contractual Clauses (SSCs) were granted an overall valid as a cross-country data transfer mechanism in July after the EU struck a long-standing EU-US data transfer agreement called Privacy Shield. However to pass for SCCs, countries have to explain an adequately high level of data privacy, and the matter is that United States data monitoring is too invasive to match up with the EU’s powerful standards on privacy.

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