2 min

The EC’s data protection board has ordered the Irish regulator to make an order by the end of

This week Reuters reported that European Union regulators have given Ireland’s data regulator one month to issue an order on blocking Facebook’s transatlantic data flows.

Helen Dixon, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), has been leading EU regulators on finalising a ban on the legal tool used by Facebook to transfer European user data due to its violation of the bloc’s main privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is because, under US law, intelligence agencies such as the NSA could access the private information of EU citizens.

A final decision by Dublin in mid-May

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB), made up of national regulators, said in a statement on Thursday that a binding decision had been made on the issue and that the Irish regulator must adopt it within a month “at the latest”.

The board’s decision addresses important legal questions arising from the draft decision of the Irish DPC, which is the “lead supervisory authority” (LSA) regarding Meta due to the US tech giant having its EU headquarters in Dublin.

“The LSA shall adopt its final decision, addressed to the controller, on the basis of the EDPB binding decision taking into account the EDPB’s legal assessment, at the latest one month after the EDPB has notified its decision”, the statement reads.

While the statement did not say what the decision was, Dixon has said other regulators had not disputed her order to ban the data transfer mechanism.

Meta, for its part, has warned that an order to ban the mechanism it uses to transfer data from Europe to the United States could force it to suspend Facebook in Europe.

A new EU-US data protection framework, which claims to offer EU citizens the same level of data protection as under European law, may be ready by July, but it will probably arrive too late to help Facebook.

Reuters said the US tech giant declined to comment on this week’s statement by the EDPB.