Facebook issued with a preliminary order by the DPC

On the 9th September 2020, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) has reportedly issued a preliminary order instructing Facebook to suspend transferring the data of EU users to the United States.

The order comes in the wake of the recent ruling by the European Court of Justice (CJEU) decision, Schrems II, which invalidated the Privacy Shield and also cast doubt on the legality of the standard contractual clauses (SCCs) which is an alternative transfer mechanism in cases where data is flowing to a non-EU entity that falls under US surveillance law.

Facebook launched a High Court challenge to the preliminary order asking the High Court to quash the order on several grounds, including alleged failure by the DPC to conduct an inquiry before it reached its decision. Facebook also believes it is being treated unfairly due to the fact that Facebook was the only organisation to be subject to this type of inquiry and decision despite other organisations are involved in trans-Atlantic transfers.

The matter will be before the court again in November.