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Ireland refers Facebook’s US data transfer to EU court

Ireland has referred Facebook’s data transfer procedures to the Court of Justice of the European Union, casting fresh doubts over the legality of the practice, following the scrapping of a so-called Safe Harbor agreement allowing unfettered exchanges of such data across the Atlantic.

Since then, the Irish privacy watchdog has been looking to determine that proper protections are in place to protect data on EU citizens from surveillance by the US government.

A Facebook spokeswoman said: “Thousands of companies transfer data across borders to serve their customers and users. The question the Irish Data Protection Commissioner plans to raise with the court regarding standard contract clauses will be relevant to many companies operating in Europe."

Facebook has its EU headquarters in Dublin placing Ireland at the centre of continent-wide suspicions at the potential for data to be misused in the wake of widespread allegations of US snooping.

The EU commission and US government are now in a race to put in place a replacement, dubbed Privacy Shield, by June.

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