Ireland regulator asks Facebook to stop sending EU users’ data to the US

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 10, 2020

An EU court had earlier struck down EU-US data flow arrangement called Privacy Shield

The Irish Data Protection Commission has sent a preliminary order to Facebook requesting suspension of data transfers of European Union users’ data to the US, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Nick Clegg Facebook V-P, Global Affairs and Communications confirmed that the privacy regulator had suggested Facebook halt its EU-US data transfers using a widely used type of contract.

“A lack of safe, secure and legal international data transfers would damage the economy and prevent the emergence of data-driven businesses from the EU, just as we seek recovery from Covid-19,” Clegg said as quoted by WSJ.

The order comes along the heels of a recent ruling by an EU Court to strike down the EU Commissions' flagship EU-US data flow arrangement called Privacy Shield.

The court, in July, suggested limiting data transfers to the US stating that the EU has no control over the US’ surveillance systems. It struck down the Privacy Shield stating that the US does not have enough safety and privacy measures in place as required under the General Data Protection Regulation.

The measures “are not circumscribed in a way that satisfies requirements that are essentially equivalent to those required under EU law, by the principle of proportionality, in so far as the surveillance programmes based on those provisions are not limited to what is strictly necessary,” the Court said in an official release.

“ In respect of certain surveillance programmes, those provisions do not indicate any limitations on the power they confer to implement those programmes or the existence of guarantees for potentially targeted non-US persons,” it said.

The decision was criticised by the US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross who said that he was "deeply disappointed" with the ruling.

Published on September 10, 2020

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