Facebook lost an attempt to block an EU privacy decision that could hinder its ability to send information about European users to US computer servers.
Ireland’s Supreme Court rejected all of Facebook’s procedural complaints about a preliminary data flow ruling it received in August from the Irish Data Protection Committee, IDPC.
Ireland’s Supreme Court also rejected Facebook’s allegations that the Irish Data Protection Commission had given it little time to respond, according to For reports Wall Street Journal.
Facebook said: The Commission and other EU privacy regulators are moving too quickly and not giving us the time to respond.
She added that the Irish Data Protection Commission’s privacy order would have dire consequences for the European economy, but it is clear that Irish officials did not share the same concerns.
The initial decision, which was suspended by the court in September pending its decision, could force the social media company, should it go into effect, to suspend the transmission of personal information about European Union users to Facebook servers in the United States.
While the new court ruling is a procedural one, the key questions are at the center of the transatlantic trade and digital economy.
Legal experts say the rationale for Ireland’s temporary injunction could apply to other large technology companies that are subject to US surveillance laws, such as cloud services and email providers, which could lead to widespread disruption of data flows across the Atlantic.
And there are billions of dollars of business in the cloud computing, social media and advertising industries.
The Irish Data Protection Committee (IDPC) is leading the enforcement of EU privacy law against Facebook and other companies headquartered in Europe in the country.
The Irish Data Protection Commission originally created the new privacy order because Facebook and other international companies often store EU residents’ data via US servers, which could expose them to further monitoring.
And if EU regulators decide to side with Ireland’s data protection committee, it will be the first major action against the Privacy Shield, the protocol that allows data to be shared.
The commission still needs to finalize its draft decision ordering the suspension of data transfers and submit it to other EU privacy regulators for approval before it takes effect.
This process may take months, before any further court appeals are counted.
If the privacy order is approved, it could have a widespread impact on all companies doing business across the Atlantic, and it could force Facebook to isolate the information it collects from users in the European Union or stop serving those countries altogether.
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