Irish court wants probe into how much data Facebook can transfer
Facebook went to court about your personal data being transferred to America, and it didn't exactly go in their favour. During all this, it didn't help that they were also accused of spying, which means that authorities are paying the social network particular attention at the moment.
In Ireland, where Facebook has a base, they're facing more opposition, where Ireland’s High Court has ordered the Irish data protection agency to investigate whether or not the transfer of users' data should be suspended or not.
The Data Protection Commissioner "is obliged now to investigate the complaint," said Judge Gerard Hogan, following the verdict at the European Court of Justice.
In case you missed it, a fella called Max Schrems made claims against Facebook, saying that his privacy could not be guaranteed during the transfer, after a load of information came to light after Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the US National Security Agency (NSA). With Facebook having their European HQ in Ireland, Schrems asked the Irish Data Protection Commissioner to investigate what protection Europeans are getting.
Initially, the then Irish data protection commissioner didn't want to look at the complaint, and said that EU authorities were happy enough that America had put sufficient data protection in place, through the 'Safe Harbour' agreement. However, things have changed since then, and the European Court of Justice ruled that 'Safe Harbour' is in fact, invalid.
In 'Safe Harbour' court ruling said that "legislation permitting (US) public authorities to have access on a generalised basis to the content of electronic communications must be regarded as compromising the essence of the fundamental right to respect for private life."
Ireland’s current Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon, said: "My office will now proceed to investigate the substance of the complaint with all due diligence." Of course, Facebook are still denying that there's anything shady going on here, but then, they would say that wouldn't they?