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Facebook’s internal assessment of EU-US data transfers shows it has no legal leg to stand on, says noyb

In its latest (and last) pre-Christmas document reveal, European privacy advocacy group, noyb, has published details of an 86-page internal assessment by Facebook of its (continued) transfers of European’s personal data to the US — and the resulting conclusion can be best summed up as ‘The Emperor, Mark Zuckerberg, Has No Clothes’.

The convoluted back story here is that Facebook’s transfers of EU users’ data to the US remain ongoing — in spite of two rulings by the bloc’s top court finding the US is a risky jurisdiction for such data (aka Schrems I and Schrems II); and a preliminary order by Facebook’s lead EU DPA, over a year ago, saying it must suspend EU-US transfers in the wake of the aforementioned Schrems II ruling.

And if that wasn’t enough, it’s also almost a year since Facebook’s lead EU DPA, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), settled a legal challenge from noyb — agreeing last January to “swiftly” finalize the complaint in question.

Yet there’s still no final decision from Ireland on the legality of Facebook’s EU-US data transfers — some 8.5 years after the complaint was first filed by noyb founder and chair, Max Schrems. (noyb didn’t even exist when he filed this complaint!)

Asked whether a decision on Facebook’s data transfers will — at long, long last — be issued this year, the DPC’s deputy commissioner, Graham Doyle, told us the inquiry is “fairly well progressed at this stage” but he admitted it will not be finalized in the next few weeks.

Asked if a decision will be issued in January, Doyle ducked specifying a timeframe — saying that the DPC is unsure “exactly when” the decision will be made.


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