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Facebook Narrowly Escapes Risk Of A ‘Forced Shutdown’ In Europe

This year hasn’t been too great for Meta’s Facebook platform. We’ve seen the app perform poorly and struggle in maintaining its monthly active user count.

But with that comes more troubling news about how the app has even gone on to avoid risks linked to a possible ‘forced shut down’ of all its services in the European continent.

The news has come due to a major twist in the entire dilemma of data protection concerns and several complaints filed against the platform for the same reason. We even saw a major clash erupt between the US laws for surveillance and the European Union’s privacy policies.

So, where does this delay come into play? Well, many are looking at it as a possible suspension for Facebook’s parent firm, as a way to halt its illegal data exports. The news comes after several objections had been filed by DPAs and the major authority controlling the app’s data handling.

They’ve been busy reviewing it in various regions, as confirmed by the Irish Business Post which first reported the new developments through a report published earlier.

Through the GDPR, we know of several complaints that need cooperation and a consensus by DPAs to different regions known to be affected so that the end result is an overview of the draft by the leading supervisor.

The Deputy Commissioner for the DPC unveiled through a public post recently how they’ve gotten several complaints from authorities recently and they’re busy assessing objections. They are going to carry out discussions with authorities to have the matter solved and see why the issues arose in the first instance.

With that being said, the DC failed to provide specific details on the matter and any objections he had received.

This new development means that we’re still far away from the legality surrounding an issue that many deem to be neverending. And that’s related to Facebook’s data transfer and what its final fate could be in terms of providing services across Europe.

For now, it’s being put aside for a few more months, at the very minimum. And if you actually look at it, well, at least the app has been given the green light to function during the summer.

A similar complaint was previously seen being raised against WhatsApp by the GDPR, linked to Ireland’s enforcement of a proposal. But that took a good nine months for a final decision to be reached, not to mention a mega fine being issued too.

But Meta isn’t going to keep quiet for too long. There are big plans in store in terms of challenging the whole matter in the courts of Ireland. And in the end, it could continue its operations in the meantime.

In 2020, we saw the DPC issue an order of suspension to the Meta-owned company regarding issues of data transfers. And that ended up as a major legal challenge in the end. Facebook was seen winning a stay but the option of rolling back the decision made by the regulatory firm was denied and dismissed in the following year.

The DPC has failed to issue comments on what the expected timeframe for the outcome would be, thanks to a great many objections received on the draft.

Ultimately, that’s going to depend on the various views of enforcement reached among the DPAs and if that could be settled peacefully without needing a formal resolution by the GDPR.

In case the DPA doesn’t reach an agreement and the EDPB manages to be involved, well, there are no chances that a final judgment comes into play before the year 2023.

The original privacy campaigner who also happens to be an advocate says he predicts a lot of delay in store for the suspension order, with Meta making some major appeals too.


H/T: TC

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