EU could face huge disruption of transatlantic data flows

The Irish Data Protection Commision (DPC) has warned that businesses could face significant disruption to transatlantic data flows because of a 2020 EU court ruling.

In July Europe’s highest court decided that an EU to US data transfer agreement was invalid because of concerns about the US surveillance regime not respecting the privacy rights of citizens in the European bloc, according to a report by Reuters.

The news organisation said that the court hearing has “created uncertainty” about whether some transfers of personal data obtained by EU companies to the US will be possible.

The DPC issued a provisional order that the mechanism Facebook currently uses to transfer EU user data to America “cannot in practice be used,” Reuters said.

The order has been frozen by the Irish High Court, with a decision coming as early as April, Helen Dixon, DPC commissioner told the media company.

“In very general terms, removing from that specific (Facebook) case, there would be massive disruptions for individual companies and organisations” Dixon told Reuters.“There would equally be solutions that would overcome those issues in some cases” such as keeping the data within the EU. “In other cases there wouldn’t be easy solutions,”

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