Facebook warns it could pull services out of Europe

Facebook warns it could pull services out of Europe

Last month, Facebook was served with a preliminary order by the EU regulator to stop the transfer of data of European users to the U.S. The Irish DPC could also fine Facebook $3 billion if the social media company fails to comply with the EU regulator's preliminary order.

Today, Facebook has told Europa Press that it is not threatening to leave Europe, but rather that the documents sent to court are meant to demonstrate something essential for these online giants: that Facebook "and many other companies" depend on data transfers between the European Union and United States, as "international data transfers support the global economy and underpin numerous services that are critical to our daily lives".

In a court filing on the decision, Facebook said it has 410 million monthly active users in Europe.

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.

In an affidavit submitted to the court to request that the order be frozen, Yvonne Cunnane, Facebook Ireland's head of data protection and associate general counsel, said it was not clear how the company could continue providing services in the European Union if the Irish order is enforced, the Sunday Business Post reported.

Facebook said the regulator appears to have skipped or sidestepped important processes such as information gathering, preparing a draft inquiry report, and so on, and declared that this was "prejudicial and unfair" to Facebook.

Selectively acting against Facebook: Cunnane said she was not aware of any similar inquiry being conducted into transatlantic data transfers being done by other companies under the DPC, pointing out that SCCs are used by "very many other companies" to transfer data to the US.

Like many other USA internet giants, Facebook bases its European operations in Ireland.

Why It Matters: On July 16, the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidated Privacy Shield, a mechanism the Mark Zuckerberg-led company used for transatlantic data transfers from European Economic Area to the USA, according to Facebook. The CJEU, in its ruling, had held SCCs to be valid.



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