The General Court of the European Union (TGUE) has rejected the appeal of the European delegation of the American technology conglomerate, Meta, against a requirement of the European Commission that consisted of sending documents identified by search terms.
Meta Platforms Ireland has not been able to demonstrate that the requirement for the submission of the documents that must be identified by means of said search terms, went beyond what is necessary, nor that the protection of sensitive personal data was not sufficiently guaranteed according to the Court, through the establishment of a virtual data room.
Thus, suspecting anti-competitive conduct by Meta in data management and its social network platform, the Court requested the technology company to provide it with the information before May 4, 2020. Notwithstanding , in case of not receiving them, Brussels assured that it would apply a potential daily fine for the value of 8 million euros.
After a fine of 1,200 million
Two months later, Meta Platforms Ireland, on the one hand, filed an appeal for annulment of that community decision and, on the other, filed a request for provisional measures to suspend its application until the court resolved the claim, something that was acceptance.
Today, the expanded Fifth Chamber of the General Court dismissed Meta’s appeal in its entirety after examining, for the first time, the legality of a request for information through search terms and the legality of a virtual data room procedure, for the treatment of documents containing sensitive personal data, which the magistrates consider to be in accordance with the law.
This decision, in the first instance and that can still be appealed before the Court of Justice of the European Union due to its handling of user information, which gave it five months to stop transferring their data to the United States.
For the “continuous” transfer of personal data from European Facebook users to the United States, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) punished Meta Platforms, parent of this and other social networks such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
The regulator accused the multinational of infringing the privacy of its users through Facebook, with data ranging from names, email and IP addresses, messages and viewing history, to geolocation. Both Meta and other tech giants use that information for online ads.