US government gets go ahead to take part in legal action over Facebook data

The Data Protection Commissioner wants to move the case to an EU court

US government gets go ahead to take part in legal action over Facebook data

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The US government has been given permission by the High Court to take part in a legal action relating to data transfer between the US and the EU.

The Data Protection Commissioner wants the European Union Court of Justice to decide whether the daily transfers are legal.

These proceedings concern the transfer of data by Facebook Ireland Ltd to its US parent company Facebook Inc, and whether this transfer is lawful under both national and EU data protection law.

Specific channels are used every day for EU-US data transfers.

The Data Protection Commissioner wants the High Court to refer the question of their legality to the EU court.

In approving the US government's application to be added to proceedings, Mr Justice Brian McGovern said today it has a significant interest in the outcome of the case because any restrictions on the transfer of such data would have potentially adverse effects on EU-US commerce and could affect US companies significantly.

A number of other parties were also added, while IBEC was among a number of unsuccessful applicants.

A further directions hearing will take place at a later date.