Face­book warns it could pull out of Europe over data row with Brus­sels

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Margi Mur­phy in San Fran­cisco

FACE­BOOK has threat­ened to pull its so­cial me­dia plat­forms from Europe if it is forced to stop trans­fer­ring users’ data to the US.

The tech­nol­ogy com­pany warned that more than 410 mil­lion peo­ple may lose ac­cess to its ser­vices, af­ter the Ir­ish Data Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sioner (DPC) sug­gested it would en­force a Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice de­ci­sion that such trans­fers of data break EU law.

The DPC is­sued a pre­lim­i­nary or­der ear­lier this month.

“In the event that the ap­pli­cant [Face­book] were sub­ject to a com­plete sus­pen­sion of the trans­fer of users’ data to the US, as ap­pears to be what the DPC pro­poses, it is not clear to the ap­pli­cant how, in those cir­cum­stances, it could con­tinue to pro­vide the Face­book and In­sta­gram ser­vices in the EU,” wrote Yvonne Cun­nane, head of data pro­tec­tion at Face­book Ire­land in an ap­peal.

“The con­se­quences of this are likely to be sig­nif­i­cant and wide-rang­ing to the ap­pli­cant and to the mil­lions of in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses who use its ser­vices in Europe.”

Ms Cun­nane claimed that “in­di­vid­ual con­sumers, busi­nesses of all sizes, char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tions, politi­cians and other pub­lic fig­ures” may no longer be able to ac­cess the ser­vice as a re­sult.

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