Facebook lost Friday’s legal battle with Ireland’s data privacy watchdog over an EU privacy decision that could result in the social network being forced to stop transferring data to the United States.
Ireland’s High Court rejected Facebook’s bid to block a draft of the country’s data protection committee ruling to question and order to halt the company’s data flows between the EU and the United States.
Judge David Barniville wrote in his judgment that he concluded that Facebook “had to fail at those reasons and therefore not be entitled to any relief claimed in the litigation.”
The Irish watchdog opened a hearing last year, shortly after a top EU court ruling dismissed an agreement covering EU-US data transfers known as the Privacy Shield, saying no. Enough to protect users from the US government̵7;s cyber snooping.
The Data Protection Committee “welcomes today’s decision,” said spokesman Graham Doyle.
Facebook said in a statement it looked forward to “defending our compliance” to the committee, “as their preliminary decisions could damage not only Facebook but also other users and businesses. with”
The court ruling is a longstanding battle between Facebook and Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, who filed a complaint in 2013 over Facebook’s data handling after the former contractor of the U.S. National Security Agency disclosed. Of Edward Snowden
Facebook has data centers around the world, and following that directive could mean costly and complex improvements to ensure European user data is exported from the United States. Crow However, it is unclear what effect this will have for Facebook users.
While this is the case specifically aimed at Facebook, it may have broader scope for transatlantic transfers. That’s because Ireland’s watchdog is the primary regulator in the enforcement of the EU’s stringent privacy rules for other Silicon Valley tech giants headquartered in Ireland, including Google and Twitter.