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Irish Regulator Closer to Blocking Meta Data Transfers

 |  July 7, 2022

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) is closer to taking steps that could suspend data transfers from the European Union to the US by Facebook and Instagram.

As Reuters reported Thursday (July 7), the privacy regulator handed down a provisional order in 2020 to bar the mechanism Facebook and Instagram owner Meta uses to transfer data on EU users to the U.S. after a court ruling declared the agreement invalid due to privacy concerns.

When the order was issued, the EU and US formed a temporary transfer deal to allow data flow to continue, pending a final agreement.

But the DPC has kept up its work in the meantime and told its counterparts around Europe that it had reached a draft of its final decision. Reuters said an agency spokesperson declined to go into details about the decision.

The DPC is the chief regulator of Meta and other Big Tech firms in the EU, because these companies have European headquarters in Ireland.

Reuters says that EU privacy rules introduced in 2018 give regulators one month to offer their input before a final decision is reached. Objections, which are common in cases like this one, could extend the process by months.

As PYMNTS reported earlier this year, Meta has said that suspending data transfers would not only affect millions of people, businesses and nonprofits in the EU who use the service, but also impact other companies that rely on EU-US data transfers.

“A long-term solution on EU-US data transfers is needed to keep people, businesses and economies connected,” the company said in February.

The case has its origins with Max Schrems, founder of the European Center for Digital Rights (NOYB). The Vienna-based nonprofit formed an advocacy group to initiate court cases in support of the General Data Protection Regulation, the EU’s ePrivacy measure. Schrems had argued the data of Europeans is in danger when being moved across the Atlantic.

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