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Potential privacy problems for Facebook following EU court opinion

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 24 September 2015

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There has been a clear advantage given to a privacy campaigner who is looking to prevent Facebook from being able to pass data from EU citizens to authorities in the USA.

The case in which Max Schrems, the campaigner, pits himself against social media giant is currently being considered by the European Court of Justice who has issued an opinion based on their legal advisors thoughts.

The opinion issued states that the current data-sharing rules between the 28-nation bloc and the US are ‘invalid’.

If this opinion is reflected in the final judgment, this could create major problems for a number of large companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and of course Facebook.

All of these companies amongst others operate data cloud services in Europe which relays the data back to centres in the US. This structure would have to change and they would have to look into creating centres based within the EU.

Facebook have issued a statement on this opinion, stating that they comply with EU Data protection law and will await a full judgment before making any other comment.

The full judgment is expected by the end of the year. The 15 judges involved in making the decision, do respect the opinions of their legal advisors, however it is solely their role to make the decision.

Many large companies will be eagerly awaiting the decision which could give data protection in the EU a huge shake-up.



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