Facebook faces record fine as EU, US renegotiate data pact
Bloomberg reported today that Ireland’s data protection commission will soon issue Facebook a record-breaking fine, surpassing €746 million, for its handling of consumer data during a lapse in EU-US agreements on the transatlantic transfer of data. In 2020, EU courts annulled an EU decision regulating transatlantic data flows due to privacy concerns, and today’s decision punishes Facebook for relying on an alternative contractual tool to transfer data while the US and EU negotiate a new data pact.
“This is like fining someone for jaywalking while city planners repaint the crosswalk, all while a thousand other people cross at the same spot,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “The reality is, the Irish court is weaponizing the law against Facebook as international negotiators finalize an agreement on how tech companies should treat consumer data. There’s no way this was lawmakers’ intention when they passed the GDPR.”
According to reports, the court’s upcoming decision will only target Facebook and won’t impact the other firms that have been transferring data the same way. While the European Commission produced a draft pact last December to facilitate the safe transfer of data between the EU and US, the EU Parliament last week voted to encourage the European Commission to improve the pact before finalizing it.
Chamber of Progress (progresschamber.org) is a center-left tech industry policy coalition promoting technology’s progressive future. We work to ensure that all Americans benefit from technological leaps, and that the tech industry operates responsibly and fairly.
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