The High Court has rejected a Facebook bid to block an inquiry by the Irish data regulator that could halt Facebook's data flows from the European Union to the United States.
"For the reasons set out in this judgment, I refuse all of the reliefs sought by FBI (Facebook Ireland) and dismiss the claims made by it in the proceedings," the court said in a judgment.
"FBI has not established any basis for impugning the DPC’s (Data Protection Commissioner’s) decision or the PDD (Preliminary Draft Decision) or the procedures for the inquiry adopted by the DPC," the judgment said.
The court was asked to decide whether the data regulator should proceed with a provisional order to halt Facebook user data transfers to the United States from the European Union.
The Irish Data Protection Commission, the EU's lead regulator for Facebook, issued the order last August after Europe's highest court ruled that a transatlantic data transfer framework known as Privacy Shield was invalid.
Facebook called for a judicial review of the commission's decision, saying it threatened "devastating" and "irreversible" consequences for its business, which relies on processing user data to serve targeted online ads.
The High Court temporarily froze the order last September to allow the review to proceed.
The transatlantic argument stems from EU concerns that the surveillance regime in the United States may not respect the privacy rights of EU citizens when their personal data is sent to the United States for commercial use.
The ruling by Ireland's Data Protection Commission effectively ends the privileged access companies in the United States have to personal data from Europe and put them on the same footing as companies in other nations outside the bloc. - Reuters