Facebook may be forced to stop all its services in the European Union due to new legislation to protect privacy, but a new agreement may save this giant American company and thousands of transatlantic technology companies.
In a report published by the French LCA website, the writer Cedric Ingran said that the tension between Facebook and the Irish Data Protection Committee had escalated during the last period, which made the American company threatening to close its services in all types of Europe if it was prevented from transmitting personal data. For its European users.
He explains that technology companies have been operating in Europe for many years according to the “safe harbor” agreement that appeared 20 years ago, and allows non-European companies to transfer European users’ data outside the European Union.
But 5 years ago, the agreement was amended and a new system called “Data Privacy Shield” was drafted. Its idea is to allow non-European companies to transfer European users’ data outside the continent in exchange for adherence to some privacy measures.
The author added: In mid-July, the European Union’s Court of Justice abolished the “data privacy shield”, considering it inconsistent with the General Data Protection Regulation, which is the European regulation that protects personal data and the extent of its use.
For its part, the European Court held that the US authorities obtained through the “Privacy Shield” an opportunity to access personal data “for public security, defense and state security purposes” through technology companies, an exception that does not comply with the General Privacy Protection Regulation.
The Irish Data Protection Committee informed Facebook that, based on this decision, it will be prohibited from transferring European users’ data to its servers in the United States.
The Irish Committee took the initiative to prosecute the American company because Facebook’s European headquarters is located in Dublin, which means that the Irish Data Protection Committee is effectively responsible for implementing European legislation and judicial decisions issued on the American company.
Waiting for a final solution
For its part, Facebook demanded to stop implementing the decision, as a legal expert explained to the company that “if Facebook is forced to completely suspend the transfer of its users’ data to the United States, it is difficult to know how to continue providing Facebook and Instagram services in the European Union countries.”
“Thousands of European and American companies depend on safe and legal data transfers between the concerned authorities,” said Nick Clegg, director of corporate relations for the company in Europe. “International data transfers support the global economy and help provide many services that have become essential in our daily lives.”
The writer emphasized that the judicial authorities in Ireland granted Facebook a temporary decision to suspend the implementation of the Irish Data Protection Committee, but the only way out of the crisis for Facebook and thousands of other technology companies – according to his opinion – is to reach a new transatlantic agreement, through which the system is revised. Privacy Data Shield “to fit European requirements for personal data protection.”