Facebook faces Irish data watchdog privacy probe2015-10-21 15:07 by Daniela
Ireland's data protection watchdog has announced that it will investigate Facebook over the way it transfers user data from Europe to the US.
The commission will inspect whether Facebook violates the privacy rights of its European users by sending their data to servers based in the U.S. This will also involve a check whether that data is accessible to the US government and the National Security Agency.
The investigation stems from a complaint by a privacy activist who has alleged that the social network "aids US spy agencies [with] mass surveillance". It is the first of its kind after cancellation of a U.S.-EU "safe harbor" data transfer pact which made it easy for bodies to send data from the EU to the US for processing.
Facebook claims that it has always been following the Irish and EU laws.
"Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the U.S. government direct access to our servers," the company said in a statement. "We will respond to enquiries from the Irish Data Protection Commission as they examine the protections for the transfer of personal data under applicable law."
Facebook's European headquarters is based in Dublin which is why the investigation is taking place there.
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