In the June 2016 blog German Privacy Regulator Makes Its Mark with Fines, we covered the Hamburg Data Commissioner’s fining of companies for using the then-invalid Safe Harbor to transfer data from the European Union to the United States instead of standard contractual clauses (SCCs). Yesterday, a legal challenge to SCCs got underway in the Irish High Court.
According to a TechCrunch report, Facebook, whose European headquarters are in Ireland, and other companies rely on this data transfer authorization mechanism to legally move user data from the European Union to the United States. In May 2016, the Irish data protection commissioner indicated it was referring SCCs to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), also known as Europe’s highest court, for a final say on whether the data transfer mechanism was valid or not.
Per a Facebook statement to TechCrunch, the social media company contends that SCCs protect EU citizens’ data in the United States and elsewhere and are integral to thousands of companies conducting business and to the growth of the European economy.
TechCrunch also points out the unknown combination of a new U.S. president and the Privacy Shield, which was adopted in 2016 and is up for review this summer.
Stateside, Facebook is dealing with another privacy matter: a class-action lawsuit over its face recognition technology.