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A bit like a reverse TikTok, Facebook is threatening to exit the EU market after Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) ruled that they company could not transfer European user data to USA due to privacy concerns.
In a court filing Facebook said “it is not clear to [Facebook] how, in those circumstances, it could continue to provide the Facebook and Instagram services in the EU.”
The company had sued the Irish data regulator, saying the company was being picked on, as other companies were not subject to the same ban, and that the order was too important and impactful to be made by a single person, Helen Dixon, Ireland’s data protection commissioner.
“The fact one person is responsible for the entire process is relevant to [Facebook’s] concerns, in respect of the inadequacy of the investigative process engaged in and independence of the ultimate decision-making process,” said Yvonne Cunnane, Facebook Ireland’s head of data protection and associate general counsel.
The order, which gave Facebook only 3 weeks to comply, is currently stayed after Facebook sued.
It’s not clear if Facebook’s threat is serious, and for its part, the company said they were merely explaining it would otherwise be impossible to operate under the new restrictions.
“Facebook is not threatening to withdraw from Europe,” a Facebook spokesperson said, adding that the court filing simply lays out how “Facebook, and many other businesses, organisations and services, rely on data transfers between the EU and the US in order to operate their services.”