Facebook and Privacy: cases, reports and actions in Europe

A list of European enforcement action, official legislative (Parliamentary) reports, and cases concerning Facebook with respect to data protection and privacy. This is a work in progress, last updated November 2018.

Data Protection Commissioner (Ireland) v Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems [Case C-311/18]

  • Jurisdiction: European Union, Ireland
  • Status: Case still in progress
  • Authority:  Court of Justice of the European Union
  • Keywords: EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC); EU/US Privacy Shield; Fundamental Rights

Information Commissioner’s Office (United Kingdom) v Facebook Ireland Limited [Monetary Penalty Notice]

  • Jurisdiction: United Kingdom
  • Status: Facebook to appeal
  • Date:  £500,000 monetary penalty notice dated 24 October 2018
  • Authority:  Information Commissioner’s Office
  • Keywords: Data Protection Act 1998; Unfair processing of personal data; Failure to take action to protect personal data

Disinformation and ‘fake news’ [Parliamentary Interim Report]

  • Jurisdiction: United Kingdom
  • Date:  24 July 2018
  • Authority:  Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, House of Commons, UK Parliament
  • Keywords: Fake news; Social Media; Russia; EU Referendum; Politics; Democracy; Communications; Disinformation; Propaganda

Brussels Court Declares Facebook Infringe Data Protection Laws, Imposes EUR 250,000 Daily Penalty to End Infringement [(24e k.) Nr. AR/2016/153/A]

  • Jurisdiction: Belgium
  • Date: 16 February 2018
  • Authority:  Nederlandstalige Rechtbank van Eerste Aanleg Brussel (Brussels Court of First Instance)
  • Keywords: Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC); 1992 Belgian Privacy Act; third-party tracking; cookies; informed consent

Unabhängiges Landeszentrum für Datenschutz Schleswig-Holstein v. Wirtschaftsakademie Schleswig-Holstein GmbH, in the presence of Facebook Ireland Ltd [Case C‑210/16]

  • Jurisdiction: European Union, Germany
  • Date:  24 October 2017
  • Authority:  Court of Justice of the European Union
  • Keywords: EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC); EU/US Privacy Shield; Fundamental Rights; Order to deactivate a fan page on Facebook; Joint liability; Extent of supervisory authorities’ powers to intervene

Facebook Ordered to Stop Collecting Data on WhatsApp Users in Germany [Press Release]

  • Jurisdiction: Germany
  • Date:  25 April 2017
  • Authority:  Verwaltungsgericht Hamburg (Administrative Court Hamburg)
  • Keywords: EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC); Terms and Conditions; Privacy Policies; Fundamental Rights; Administrative Order prohibiting the sharing of data; consent.

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Kelsey is a media and intellectual property lawyer in London. She writes about the creative industries, digital rights, fashion and brand management from a legal perspective.

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