The Irish Data Protection Commissioner is set to investigate a complaint filed by Max Schrems, an Austrian law student and data privacy advocate who claims that Facebook Ireland is revealing his personal information to U.S. intelligence agencies, said the Irish Times. Schrems allegation: The social media giant gave the National Security Agency a backdoor for reviewing user data (a claim Facebook denies).
Schrems took Ireland’s data regulator to court after it turned down his complaint and later dismissed his Facebook data privacy claims as “frivolous and vexatious,” according to news sources.
Irish High Court Justice Gerard Hogan was informed that the probe will continue in light of the recent decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) relating to the Safe Harbor arrangement and the transfer of personal data. The ECJ ruling poses significant issues for nearly 4,500 companies that are covered by the Safe Harbor program and any business that transmits or moves data between the U.S. and EU member states.
The high court in Dublin originally tossed out Schrems’ request to review the complaint over Facebook’s movement of his data outside of Europe but according to Justice Hogan the initial decision was made under the validity of the Safe Harbor agreement, which was recently declared invalid amid another two-year case by Schrems against Facebook.
According to Helen Dixon, Ireland’s data protection commissioner, the substance of Schrems complaint will be investigated “with all due diligence”
The Guardian reported that Schrems is expecting a decision to be made in a matter of weeks, however the question remains if the Irish data watchdog will act on this case.
Facebook’s Ireland operation has vehemently denied breach of Irish or EU law.