May 14, 2021 - Technology

Facebook loses data flow ruling in EU

Facebook with EU flag
Photo: Chukrut Budrul/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook lost on Friday in its attempt to block a European Union privacy decision related to how it sends data about EU users back to the U.S.

Driving the news: Ireland's High Court dismissed procedural complaints from Facebook about a decision it had made about the data transfer last August, rejecting the platform's argument that the EU's judgment was made too hastily.

Why it matters: The decision marks another setback in a confusing situation for businesses that work internationally and send data back and forth between the EU and U.S., as Axios reported this week.

  • Businesses have been left in the lurch as EU and U.S. negotiators figure out guidelines for sending data back and forth with privacy protections Europeans are comfortable with. A previous deal, Privacy Shield, was invalidated last summer.
  • If the decision is finalized, Facebook could be forced to stop sending information about EU users to its servers in the U.S. entirely, the Wall Street Journal notes.

What they're saying: Facebook said the issues around the ruling impact thousands of American and European businesses and that it had taken appropriate safeguards to protect EU user data.

  • "We look forward to defending our compliance to the [Irish Data Protection Commission], as their preliminary decision could be damaging not only to Facebook, but also to users and other businesses," a Facebook spokesperson said.
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