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Facebook threatens to leave Europe if Ireland enforces ban on data sharing with US

In July, the European Court of Justice invalidated the 2016 Privacy Shield, saying that EU digital privacy laws were at risk of being violated under the agreement.

Published: 23rd September 2020 02:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd September 2020 02:59 PM   |  A+A-

Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Photo | AFP)

By ANI

CALIFORNIA: Facebook may have to pull out of Europe if the Irish Data Protection Commission enforces a ban on sharing data with the US after the European Court of Justice found that the bloc's measures to protect its data from US intelligence agencies were insufficient, Head of Data Protection and Associate General Counsel at Facebook Ireland Yvonne Cunnane said in a court filing.

In July, the European Court of Justice invalidated the 2016 Privacy Shield, saying that EU digital privacy laws were at risk of being violated under the agreement, which allows for data to be transferred, stored, and processed in the United States.

"In the event that [Facebook] was subject to a complete prohibition on the transfer of user data to the United States, as appears to be what the DPC [Data Protection Commissioner] proposes, it is not clear to [Facebook] how, in such circumstances, it could continue to provide inter alia the Facebook and Instagram services in the EU," the document unveiled earlier this week said.

Facebook subsequently stated that the filing was not a threat but rather a simple reflection of the reality that the company along with other organizations and businesses rely on data transfers between the EU and the US in order to operate their services. According to Facebook's spokesperson, a lack of such safe data transfers would damage the economy and hamper the growth of data-driven businesses within the EU. 



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