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Facebook claims Irish data ruling could cost Europe €143B annually

Facebook Inc.claimed that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner's draft decision on EU-U.S.data transfers could cost the European economy €143 billion a year if upheld,the Irish Independent (Dublin)reported July 8.

Facebook Ireland's counsel Paul Gallagher noted the hugeimplications of the case for Ireland, the EUand globally.

The Irish High Court reportedly heard Commissioner HelenDixon's initial finding that Facebook's transatlantic data transfer channelsare invalid due to insufficient U.S. legal safeguards for European privacyrights.

The validity of the channels, otherwise known as standardcontractual clauses, have been questioned following former National SecurityAgency contractor Edward Snowden's disclosuresabout U.S. mass surveillance, as well as the Court of Justice of the EuropeanUnion's decision to invalidatethe former EU-U.S. Safe Harbor pact.

The U.S. government has made an application to Dixon's action, which seeksto determine the legality of the data transfer channels, according to thereport. The Irish High Court is supposed to refer the matter to the CJEU.