The Irish Data Protection Commission Has Reportedly Ordered Facebook To Stop Sending Data About European Users To The United States

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook has been ordered to suspend data transfers about European users to the United States. According to the report, an EU Union privacy regulator sent a preliminary order to the social media giant to stop transferring its European users to the United States. The Irish Data Protection Commission is the regulator that oversees the actions of the social media giant in Europe, and it sent this order in late August of this year.

According to the report, officials are concerned about the potential surveillance practices of the United States government, and they are looking to limit such practices by restricting the transfer of European user data to the United States. The social media giant would need to re-engineer Facebook’s complete operation to keep the data about its European users completely separate from data collected by the company from other regions of the world. Or the company may have to temporarily shut down its services in Europe to comply with this order.

The Irish Data Protection Commission can even impose a fine of up to 4% of Facebook’s worldwide revenue or nearly $3 billion if the social media giant fails to comply with the preliminary order. The social media giant sends data about its European users to Facebook’s servers based in the United States to serve more targeted advertisements to users in Europe. And it is worth noting that if this process is disrupted, it will become more challenging for the social media giant to earn as much revenue as it does from users right now. On average, the company earned a revenue of $13.21 from each user in Europe back in 2019.

The recent move of the Irish Data Protection Commission follows the decision taken by the United States government to ban a number of Chinese applications from the United States. The US government has also threatened to ban the popular TikTok app in the US.

Although nothing will change for European users right now, and the social media company is continuing to use SCCs, if this order is enforced by the Irish regulators, users in Europe will not be able to access Facebook’s services until the social media giant reconfigures its setup to stop sending user data to the US. Furthermore, this order has been issued to Facebook right now, however, this decision might have a broader impact on digital platforms that have a multi-national presence. Digital platforms could be forced to split data storage into different global blocs on the basis of agreements.

Photo: NurPhoto via Getty Images

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