France’s privacy regulator on Monday threatened to fine Facebook Inc. if it doesn’t change some of its data tracking practices and halt transatlantic transfers under a recently invalidated data flow agreement.
The French order is the first significant action taken by a European data protection authority since the EU high court struck down the agreement last October over privacy concerns.
Over 4,000 firms had relied on the so-called Safe Harbor agreement to legally handle EU citizens’ data. Regulators gave companies until the end of January to set up alternative legal means of transfer before they began taking enforcement action, while negotiators from both governments raced to strike a replacement deal.
A working group that includes data protection authorities from 28 EU nations is expected to spend the next few months picking through the replacement to Safe Harbor — struck by the Commerce Department and the European Commission last week — to determine if it adequately protects the personal data of European citizens.