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Facebook may leave Europe after Schrems II ruling

DPC, the Irish supervisory authority for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), sent Facebook a preliminary order to suspend data transfers from the EU to the US. The preliminary suspension order follows a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice in Schrems II case published on 16 July 2020, where the ECJ founded the Privacy Shield invalid. Privacy Shield represented one of the legal bases for the transfer of data to the United States. 

Facebook had filed an affidavit to Ireland’s high court on 10 September 2020, in which it challenged the above preliminary order. Facebook has warned that it may leave Europe if the Irish DPC enforces the ban on sharing data with the US.

It is important to note that about a quarter of Facebook’s revenue comes from Europe, which business model is based on collecting user data and “selling” it to the US. The activity of users is the basis of the data, the collection of which and its transmission can be used to tailor targeted advertisements. It is not difficult to see how much revenue might be generated from the transatlantic data transfer, if Facebook would consider leaving nearly 410 million European users behind.