BEERG: Facebook Data Transfers to U.S. May Run Afoul of EU Data Protection Laws

April 13, 2018

On the heels of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before the U.S. Congress, the EU's Court of Justice is expected to review a complaint that Facebook Ireland's transfers of data to Facebook Inc. violate EU data privacy laws since the American company is obligated to make its data available to U.S. security agencies, such as the NSA and FBI.  A special BEERG alert notes: "Without a doubt, these questions and the whole issue raise significant issues of EU law with huge implications, including whether the High Court has correctly found there is 'mass indiscriminate processing' of data by US government agencies."  Regarding the applicability of the proceedings to other companies, BEERG further maintains: "The situation is specifically problematic regarding U.S. companies that are 'electronic communication service providers,' because the relevant law (FISA 702) only applies to them.  Most 'normal' businesses (like trade in goods and services and alike) do not fall under such U.S. surveillance laws and there is therefore no direct conflict with EU laws.  The problem is however similar for most other large U.S. technology providers that provide IT outsourcing services (e.g., 'cloud services') to the EU."  Read the BEERG Global Labor Newsletter.