Why Facebook says the network could no longer function in Europe

Facebook has told the High Court of Ireland that its services could not operate in the European Union if regulators block the data transfer mechanism.

The US giant said last week that the Irish Data Protection Commission, its main EU regulator, had taken a preliminary ruling that the mechanism it uses to transfer data from the EU to the United States “It cannot be used in practice”.

In a statement to the court seeking the cancellation of the order, Yvonne Cunnane, head of Facebook data protection and associate general counsel at Facebook Ireland, said it was unclear how the company would could continue to provide services in the EU if the Irish order is enforced, Reuters wrote, citing court documents.

“It is not clear how Facebook, in these circumstances, could continue to provide Facebook and Instagram services in the EU,” according to the same source.

The document in question was not made public, a High Court spokesman said, and a Facebook spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

In a blog post on September 9, which confirmed for the first time the Irish regulator's investigation, Facebook said it was based on the mechanism in question – according to what is known as standard contractual clauses (CCS) – to transfer data to non-EU countries and that a ban would have a far-reaching effect on CCS-based companies.

The Irish inquiry follows a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union in July on when SCCs can be used legally. The ruling addressed EU concerns that the US surveillance regime may not respect the privacy rights of EU citizens when their personal data is sent to the US for commercial use.

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