Irish regulator ponders halt on EU-US data transfers

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Ireland’s privacy regulator has doubled down on its order to stop media service traffic to the US from Facebook and Instagram.

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) issued a provisional order in 2020 to block the mechanism that Meta uses to transfer data on EU users to the US.

The data flows have continued, though, as the EU and US reached a preliminary data transfer agreement. This is pending a final agreement.

The DPC is the EU’s primary regulator of Meta and several other technology companies, due to its location.

"This draft decision, which is subject to review by European Data Protection Authorities, relates to a conflict of EU and U.S. law which is in the process of being resolved," a Meta spokesperson said.

"We welcome the EU-U.S. agreement for a new legal framework that will allow the continued transfer of data across borders, and we expect this framework will allow us to keep families, communities and economies connected."

Meta has frequently warned that the DPC’s decision could shut off its services to users in Europe. Although the final order would not apply to Whatsapp, Facebook’s subsidiary as it has a different data controller within the group.

A final decision on the matter is not expected for a few months.