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Irish court agrees that Facebook’s EU/US data sharing might be illegal

The Irish High Court launched its judgement in a case towards Facebook. The court agreed with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s (DPC) considerations and located that channels that Facebook and different firms use for data switch from the EU to the USA might be illegal.

The reason why it might be illegal is for the reason that data privateness of EU electorate is threatened via the large virtual surveillance of the USA govt. This contains the large surveillance methods PRISM and Upstream which Edward Snowden famously exposed.

The Irish court has referred the problem to CJEU, Europe’s perfect court, to succeed in a definitive determination at the validity of the data switch.

OUR FIRST STATEMENT on #Facebook/#PRISM/@Snowden: https://t.co/jB9lCYMyhpExecutive Summary via the High Court: https://t.co/ncE7cQuqtF percent.twitter.com/2v1iVtgygF
— Max Schrems (@maxschrems) October three, 2017

Why is Facebook moving data between the EU and the USA?

Facebook is divided up into two firms: Facebook Inc., the mum or dad corporate, and Facebook Ireland Ltd., which operates the corporate’s world trade outdoor of the USA and Canada (85.nine p.c of all FB customers). Facebook Ireland Ltd. sends all its person data to its mum or dad corporate in the USA, which is why the case is being attempted in Ireland.

This switch of data to the mum or dad corporate way that non-public data of EU electorate is saved the place the USA govt may just make use of its questionable mass virtual surveillance — and in all probability infringe upon the basic rights of the EU electorate to privateness. This is what Max Schrems — who filed the unique criticism towards Facebook again in 2013 — and the Irish DPC are combating towards.

The superstar of the display: SCC

Technically talking, the EU bans all data transfers from Europe to any nation outdoor the EEA. However, there’s an exception to the regulation which Facebook, in conjunction with different firms, makes use of to switch data from Europe to the USA. This exception is known as SCC (Standard Contractual Clauses) and is on the very middle of the case.

Credit: europe-v-facebook.org

In the ruling on October three, the Irish High Court said that the DPC “raised well-founded concerns as to the validity of the [SCC] decisions and the court shares those concerns.” That’s why the court has determined to refer questions in regards to the validity of SCC to CJEU, Europe’s perfect court, to decide definitively if it’s infringing on EU citizen’s privateness.

What’s vital to notice is that this isn’t the primary case the place the CJEU will rule on a legislation referring to Facebook’s data transfers to its mum or dad corporate in the USA. Back in 2015, the CJEU invalidated Safe Harbor — every other exception to EU’s strict privateness regulations that Facebook made us of prior to SCC — after Schrems’ court case.

It’s subsequently transparent that the CJEU’s subsequent ruling on SCC will have huge have an effect on on data switch from Europe. Especially as a result of firms gained’t have every other exception to clutch directly to.

What occurs subsequent?

The subsequent step is that the Irish High Court will collect case’s events on October 11 to agree at the exact questions that will be referred to the CJEU. Soon after that, the real referral to the CJEU will happen.

The ruling of the Irish High Court on SCC will subsequently haven’t any speedy impact on Facebook’s — or some other corporate’s — data transfers between the USA and Europe. No exact disruption (relying at the verdict) will occur till the CJEU laws at the validity of SCC, which will take as much as one and part years. However, other folks disagree on what that ruling must seem like.


First fast observation on High Court ruling.. #CJEU #SCCs @Snowden #Facebook #Referral #Dublin #HighCourt percent.twitter.com/hXQx1lBmx6
— Max Schrems (@maxschrems) October three, 2017

Schrems believes that it could be sufficient to make use of Article four of the SCC to in particular goal and forestall Facebook’s data sharing. However, in keeping with Schrems’ video and aforementioned observation, the DPC needs a extra systematic overhaul, which goals all the SCC. The Irish High Court agreed with the DPC’s considerations and that’s why questions in regards to the validity of all the SCC will be referred to the CJEU.

A Facebook spokesperson instructed TNW that the Irish court’s ruling had no impact at the corporate’s operations, however emphasised that the SCC was once very important to firms of all sizes that perform to some extent in the USA or somewhere else on this planet.

“It is essential that the CJEU now considers the extensive evidence demonstrating the robust protections in place under Standard Contractual Clauses and US law, before it makes any decision that may endanger the transfer of data across the Atlantic and around the globe,” mentioned Facebook’s spokesperson.

Whatever the CJEU’s ruling will be on SCC, it’s sure that it’ll have large implications, each outside and inside of Europe. One of the ones implications may just be to outline how some distance international locations pass with mass surveillance, as Schrems issues out, together with EU international locations.

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