Invalidation of Safe Harbor Turns Up Privacy Heat on Facebook

By David Cohen Comment


The October ruling by the European Court of Justice that the Safe Harbor agreement between the U.S. and the European Commission was invalid is about to increase Facebook’s legal work load.

Austrian law student Max Schrems and his Europe Versus Facebook group filed an updated complaint with Ireland’s Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, as well as similar complaints with the Commission for the Protection of Privacy in Belgium and the Hamburg Data Protection Authority in Germany.

Schrems was emboldened to file all of those complaints by the invalidation of the Safe Harbor agreement, and he said in a statement, as reported by TechCrunch:

We want to ensure that this very crucial judgement is also enforced in practice when it comes to the U.S. companies that are involved in U.S. mass surveillance. The court’s judgment was very clear in this respect.

Facebook responded with this emailed statement to TechCrunch:

We have repeatedly explained that we are not and have never been part of any program to give the U.S. government direct access to our servers. Facebook uses the same mechanisms that thousands of others companies across the EU use to transfer data legally from the EU to the U.S., and to other countries around the world. These issues are being examined by the Irish Data Protection Commission at the request of Mr. Schrems. We are cooperating fully with the DPC and are confident that this investigation will lead to a comprehensive resolution of Mr. Schrems’ complaints.

The three new complaints filed by Schrems are embedded below.

Readers: How do you think all of this will play out?

Complaint against Facebook Ireland Ltd

Beschwerde gegen „Facebook Ireland Ltd“, „Facebook Inc“ und/oder die Facebook-Niederlassung in Brüssel

Beschwerde gegen „Facebook Ireland Ltd“, „Facebook Inc“ und/oder die „Facebook Germany GmbH“

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.