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EU court says all states can take data cases against Facebook

Christian Fernsby |
Data protection authorities in any European Union member state can pursue privacy complaints against Facebook even though it is based in Ireland, the European Court of Justice has said.

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Topics: FACEBOOK   

If upheld, the advocate general’s opinion issued on Wednesday would mean any of the 27 member states’ data authorities could take action against the social media giant headquartered in Dublin, potentially unleashing a flood of complaints against big tech companies.

Ireland’s data protection authority has, until now, been considered responsible for pursuing complaints against multinationals headquartered in the State, a situation that has led to criticism across the EU that the office is under-resourced for the task.

“The data protection authority in the State where a data controller or processor has its main EU establishment has a general competence to start court proceedings for GDPR infringements in relation to cross-border data processing,” the court said in a statement.

“The other national data protection authorities concerned are nevertheless entitled to commence such proceedings in their respective member state in situations where the GDPR specifically allows them to do so.”

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