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Facebook's EU-U.S. data flows are under threat — that may spell trouble for other tech giants

Mount Equity Group Tokyo, Japan > News > Tech > Facebook's EU-U.S. data flows are under threat — that may spell trouble for other tech giants

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FBIn this photo illustration, the Facebook logo is seen on a smartphone screen with the EU flag in the background.Chukrut Budrul | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images

LONDON — Facebook faces a potential ban on the transfer of Europeans’ data to the United States. That would be a “massive blow” to the social networking giant and could impact other large American tech firms, according to analysts.

Last week, Ireland’s High Court dismissed a challenge from Facebook over a regulatory inquiry that could lead to a ban on the flow of its user information from the European Union to the U.S. 

It comes after a landmark ruling from the EU’s top court invalidated the use of Privacy Shield, a framework for the transatlantic sharing of data.

The decision was a victory for Max Schrems, an Austrian privacy activist who has taken Facebook to task over how it handles data on European citizens. Schrems argued that, in light of revelations from American whistleblower Edward Snowden, U.S. law did not offer sufficient protection against surveillance by public authorities.

In September, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission sent Facebook a preliminary order to stop using an alternative tool, known as standard contractual clauses, to send user information