Over the past ten years, Meta has played with fire, ignoring the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Data Protection Board. Facebook’s parent company must stop any transfer of personal data of European citizens to the United States and must return the data transferred over the years to servers in centers in that country to others that are in the European territory. The fine that can be announced today will be a record and, according to The Wall Street Journal, will reach 1,300 million dollars, about 1,200 million euros.
In July 2020, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) established that the transfer of data to US providers violates the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and annulled a transfer agreement between the EU and United States called Privacy Shield (privacy shield). This treaty replaced another agreement called Safe Harbor (safe harbor), which had already been annulled in 2015.
Since the European court ruled in July 2020, Facebook and other large technology companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google have relied on the so-called “standard contractual clauses (CCS)” to continue with data transfers and maintain databases. of its European clients. These are clauses approved by the European Commission that must be included in international data transfer contracts between one of the 27 EU countries (in addition to Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland) and another country, such as the United States. Joined.
Meta is awaiting a new data transfer agreement between the EU and the United States that is likely to come into force after next summer, although there is no guarantee that, as with Safe Harbor and Privacy Shield, it will be invalidated by the courts. These European judicial decisions have retroactive effect.
Throughout the dispute, initiated by the Austrian activist Max Schrems, the Irish data protection authority (CPD), where Meta has its European headquarters, has placed numerous obstacles to the technology being sanctioned. The Irish agency tried to prevent the American company from being sued by considering that it was making use of the CCS clauses. In all cases, the CJEU ruled against Meta.
Last year, Mark Zuckerberg’s company hinted that it was willing to leave Europe if its use of data was restricted. Keep in mind that, in addition to Facebook, he has Instagram and WhatsApp. Eventually, he backed down and has even built data centers in Europe.
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