Facebook Meta Shut Down

Facebook’s parent company Meta is still embroiled in a legal spat with the EU over data transfer laws and may be shut down in the continent.

So far Facebook has been able to avoid its social media platform being cut off for users, but the twists and turns in the legal case keep coming.

Facebook Data Protection Issues

Back in 2022 the Data Protection Commission (DPC) in Ireland, led by Helen Dixon, attempted to enforce a preliminary order against Facebook to prevent the American company transferring the personal information of EU citizens to the United States.

According to Business Post Ireland, industry watchdogs have raised objections with the DPC to ‘delay any final decision’ on that order.

TechCrunch also reports that under the European Union’s GDPR law (General Data Protection Regulation), of which Ireland is a member, cross-border complaints require a consensus of cooperation from Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) across affected regions. That gives the ability for watchdogs and other groups to weigh in on orders like that suggested by the DPC.

A number of those appear to have sided with Facebook. That was confirmed by Ireland’s deputy DPC commissioner Graham Doyle:

‘We have received some objections from a small number of Data Protection Authorities in this case. We are currently assessing the objections and will engage with the relevant authorities to try and resolve the issues raised.’

Ireland vs Big Tech Transparency

Facebook has stated the commissioner’s order would cause ‘irreversible, devastating damage’ to its business model if passed – now it appears to have bought more time before a decision is made, and not for the first time – managing to stall progress in 2020 with a legal challenge that won a stay, before later being dismissed via judicial review.

A similar case against WhatsApp for breaching EU GDPR law took nine months to be resolved and resulted in WhatsApp being fined $267 million in September 2021.

For now the lights remain on for Facebook’s online presence across Europe, with the legal row expected to continue well into 2023. The Irish DPC have a track record of success in such legal cases against Big Tech however – as well as WhatsApp they were able to fine Twitter $550,000 back in December of 2020.

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