Political News outlet Politico have released leaked exchanges between Facebooks lawyers which they claim show Facebooks intent to ignore judgements by the European Court of Justice that state US privacy laws don’t offer enough protection to allow the free transfer of personal data from the EU to the US.
Facebook’s lawyers (or Meta’s lawyers as we should now call them) intend to argue that because Meta uses ‘standard contractual clauses’ (SCC’s) as the legal mechanism of the transfer of personal information and data, then the ECJ’s judgement about US Privacy laws won’t apply to them.
They’re basing this argument on the Schrems II case in which the ECJ ruled the EU-US data sharing agreement Privacy Shield was no longer fit for purpose but that SCC’s were IF additional security (where necessary) was implemented to prevent excessive access to the transferred personal data by the recipient third country.
Meta’s lawyers also referred to the fact (in the leaked documents) that the UK was granted data adequacy by the EU last June, this, despite the fact that the ECJ had found mass surveillance activities by the UK Government to be illegal.
In the exchange between Meta’s lawyers the idea was also floated that they could argue that the US Federal Trade Commission was “carrying out its role as a data protection agency with unprecedented force and vigour,” meaning they could make the case the US, in terms of data protection, was not that different from the UK.
It is clear that in some important respects, the UK regime, which the Commission has assessed to be adequate under Article 45 GDPR, takes a similar approach to the US in relation to limitations on data protection rights in the context of interception of communications.
Leaked Meta Communications
That being said however, the adequacy granted to the UK for data transfer between the UK and EU countries is only limited to four years, with many MEP’s objecting to it at all and negotiations are ongoing even now, meaning any argument based on purely on that could face a lot of pushback.