Facebook Fires Lawyers in Attempt to Stop EU Regulators from Forcing It to Suspend Transatlantic Data Transfers Following a historic decision by the highest court in Europe this summer.
The tech giant has asked Irish judges to seek judicial review of a preliminary stay order, it has revealed.
Earlier this week Facebook has confirmed that it has received a preliminary order from its main European data regulator – the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) – ordering it to stop transfers.
This is the logical conclusion after the Schrems II ruling that overturned a flagship data transfer agreement between the EU and the US on the grounds of excessive US surveillance – simultaneously casting doubt on legality alternative mechanisms for data transfers from the EU to the US in cases the data controller is subject to FISA 702 (as Facebook is).
Today Currency reported that Dublin commercial law firm Mason Hayes + Curran filed documents with the Irish High Court yesterday, appointing the Irish data protection commissioners as a defendant in the judicial review action.
Facebook confirmed the app – sending us this statement: “A lack of safe, secure and legal international data transfers would have damaging consequences for the European economy. We urge regulators to take a pragmatic and proportionate approach until a long-term sustainable solution can be found. “
In other remarks, the company did not want to be directly cited, they told us they believed the preliminary order was premature as they said they expected regulator directives following the Schrems II judgment.
It is not known what other directions Facebook wants, nor what grounds it claims to seek judicial review of the CPD process. We asked him about it, but he declined to provide details. However, the tech giant’s intention to (more) delay regulatory action that threatens its business interests is crystal clear.
The initial complaint against Facebook’s transatlantic data transfers dates back to 2013.
The Irish legal system allows applications for ex parte judicial review. So all Facebook had to do to file an application with the High Court to challenge the DPC’s preliminary order is an explanatory memorandum, a verification affidavit, and an ex parte record (plus relevant court costs). Oh and you had to be sure that these documents were submitted in A4 format.
DPC Deputy Commissioner Graham Doyle declined to comment on the latest twist in the never-ending saga.