Fb loses final ditch try to derail DPC decision on its EU-US knowledge flows

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Fb has failed in its give away to stop its lead EU knowledge protection regulator from pushing ahead with a decision on whether to characterize suspension of its EU-US knowledge flows.

The Irish Excessive Court has lovely issued a ruling pushing apart the firm’s express to the Irish Records Protection Commission’s (DPC) procedures.

The case has immense doubtless operational significance for Fb which is liable to be forced to retailer European customers’ knowledge in the community if it’s ordered to stop taking their files to the U.S. for processing.

Final September Irish knowledge watchdog made a preliminary characterize warning Fb it is far going to honest have to slump EU-US knowledge flows. Fb responding by filing for a judicial review and obtaining a close on the DPC’s assignment. That block is now being unblocked.

We build the alive to events were given a pair of days to learn the Excessive Court judgement sooner than one other hearing on Thursday — when the court docket is expected to formally take hang of Fb’s close on the DPC’s investigation (and opt the matter of case charges).

The DPC declined to comment on nowadays’s ruling in any detail — or on the timeline for you decide on Fb’s EU-US knowledge flows — nevertheless deputy commissioner Graham Doyle suggested us it “welcomes nowadays’s judgment”.

Its preliminary suspension characterize final descend followed a landmark judgement by Europe’s top court docket in the summertime — when the CJEU struck down a flagship transatlantic settlement on knowledge flows, on the grounds that US mass surveillance is incompatible with the EU’s knowledge protection regime.

The autumn-out from the CJEU’s invalidation of Privateness Defend (as effectively as an earlier ruling striking down its predecessor Suited Harbor) has been ongoing for years — as companies that rely upon transferring EU customers’ knowledge to the US for processing have had to shuffle to derive legit honest picks.

While the CJEU did now not outright ban knowledge transfers out of the EU, it made it crystal sure that knowledge protection agencies ought to step in and slump international knowledge flows if they suspect EU knowledge is at menace. And EU to US knowledge flows were signalled as at sure menace given the court docket concurrently struck down Privateness Defend.

The express for some agencies is therefore that there might per chance well per chance honest simply no longer be a sound honest different. And that’s the attach things explore particularly sticky for Fb, since its provider falls beneath NSA surveillance by Portion 702 of the FISA (which is old to authorize mass surveillance functions treasure Prism).

Fb lost 100% earlier than Irish Excessive Court: “I refuse the total reliefs sought by [Facebook Ireland] and brush apart the claims made by it in the lawsuits”

➡️Judgment (Customary) and first assertion here: https://t.co/81C7pyCBTd

— Max Schrems 🇪🇺 (@maxschrems) Also can honest 14, 2021

So what occurs now for Fb, following the Irish Excessive Court ruling?

As ever in this complex honest saga — which has been going on in various forms since an long-established 2013 complaint made by European privateness campaigner Max Schrems — there’s peaceable some tune left to bustle.

After this unblocking the DPC can have two enquiries in practice: Every the long-established one, linked to Schrems’ complaint, and an hang volition enquiry it determined to begin final yr — when it acknowledged it used to be pausing investigation of Schrems’ long-established complaint.

Schrems, by his privateness no longer-for-earnings noyb, filed for his hang judicial review of the DPC’s lawsuits. And the DPC swiftly agreed to decide on — agreeing in January that it would ‘swiftly’ finalize Schrems’ long-established complaint. So things were already transferring.

The tl;dr of all that is that this: The final of the bungs which were old to delay regulatory slither in Ireland over Fb’s EU-US knowledge flows are finally being extracted — and the DPC ought to capture on the complaint.

Or, to place it one other diagram, the clock is ticking for Fb’s EU-US knowledge flows. So question one other wordy blog put up from Reduce Clegg very soon.

Schrems beforehand suggested TechCrunch he expects the DPC to discipline a suspension characterize in opposition to Fb internal months — probably as soon as this summer season (and failing that by descend).

In an announcement reacting to the Court ruling nowadays he reiterated that predicament, saying: “After eight years, the DPC is now required to stop Fb’s EU-US knowledge transfers, seemingly earlier than summer season. Now we simply have two procedures rather than 1.”

When Ireland (finally) decides it won’t label the pause of the regulatory procedures, though.

A call by the DPC on Fb’s transfers would ought to recede to the opposite EU DPAs for review — and if there’s incompatibility there (as looks highly seemingly, given what’s took space with draft DPC GDPR selections) this would well per chance trigger a extra delay (weeks to months) because the European Records Protection Board seeks consensus.

If a majority of EU DPAs can’t agree the Board might per chance well per chance honest itself have to solid a deciding vote. So that can lengthen the timeline round any suspension characterize. However an pause to the approach is, at prolonged final, in scrutinize.

And, effectively, if a serious mass of home stress is ever going to plot for expert-privateness reform of U.S. surveillance authorized pointers now looks treasure a terribly suited time…

“We now question the DPC to discipline a decision to stop Fb’s knowledge transfers earlier than summer season,” added Schrems. “This would require Fb to retailer most knowledge from Europe in the community, to plot sure that that Fb USA does now not have derive entry to to European knowledge. The opposite possibility would be for the US to replace its surveillance authorized pointers.”

Fb has been contacted for comment on the Irish Excessive Court ruling.

Change: The firm has now sent us this assertion:

“On the present time’s ruling used to be about the approach the IDPC followed. The greater discipline of how knowledge can transfer around the sector remains of major importance to thousands of European and American agencies that connect clients, chums, household and workers across the Atlantic. Admire other companies, now we have got followed European principles and rely upon Smartly-liked Contractual Clauses, and appropriate knowledge safeguards, to present a international provider and fix folk, agencies and charities. We watch for defending our compliance to the IDPC, as their preliminary decision will seemingly be unfavorable no longer easiest to Fb, nevertheless also to customers and other agencies.”

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