October 20, 2015 / 10:54 AM / 2 years ago

Irish privacy regulator ordered to investigate Facebook data

DUBLIN, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Ireland’s privacy regulator was ordered to investigate Facebook Inc’s transfers of European data to the United States on Tuesday following a legal challenge mounted by an Austrian law student against its initial refusal to do so.

Max Schrems challenged the transfers of European users’ data after revelations in 2013 of the U.S. government’s Prism programme, which allowed U.S. authorities to harvest private information directly. He filed his complaint in Ireland because Facebook has its European headquarters in Dublin.

After a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) declared invalid a system used by thousands of U.S. and European companies to transfer personal data to the United State, Judge Gerard Hogan told the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) it was obliged to investigate the complaint. (Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Padraic Halpin and Pravin Char)

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