A few months ago, the Court of Justice of the European Union (TEU) ruled against the agreement for the transfer of data from European citizens to the United States negotiated by the European Commission with Washington, known as the ‘Privacy Shield’, when concluding It does not guarantee the level of data protection required by the rules of the European Union.
In its judgment, the European Justice warned that it did not find in the agreement that allows the sending of data from European users to the United States for commercial purposes “limitations” on the use of the same in the framework of certain surveillance programs, nor that found sufficient safeguards to protect non-US citizens and prevent them from being targeted by such programs.
Facebook threatens to leave the EU
This same month of September, the DPC -Data Protection Commission- of Ireland, which is the main regulator in the field of Facebook privacy in Europe by having its parent company there, urged the Facebook company to stop transferring data from the European community bloc to the United States, a decision that the social media giant did not exactly take well, especially after the TUE.
For this reason, Facebook wanted to appeal this decision of the DCP before the Irish Justice, which chose to grant it a suspension until the legal dispute between the company and the regulator was resolved. And as part of this process, Facebook has sent a letter to the court arguing that the ban would have “a high impact on its operations.”
Dependence on data transfers
And, to get an idea in numbers, according to a study commissioned by Facebook itself, the company’s applications helped generate sales worth 208,000 million euros to 7,700 companies throughout Europe, so if you could not send data from EU users to the United States, these sales would suffer, with consequent economic damage as derived from the study data.
“In the event that Facebook were subject to a complete suspension of user data to the United States, as appears to be the proposal of the DPC, it is not clear how Facebook, in these circumstances, could continue to provide the services of Facebook and Instagram in the European Union “, explained the head of data protection and privacy of the company in Europe, Yvonne Cunnane, in a document to which the local Irish press has had access.
Today, Facebook has told Europa Press that it is not threatening to leave Europe, but rather that the documents sent to court are intended to demonstrate something essential for these online giants: that Facebook “and many other companies” depend on data transfers between the EU and US, as “international data transfers support the global economy and underpin many of the services that are critical to our daily lives.”