According to the opinion of the Attorney General of the European Court of justice, privacy complaints against the US technology giant Facebook should not only be submitted to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, but also be handled by any national data protection agency across the EU.Until now, since Facebook's European headquarters are in Ireland, any European citizen's privacy complaint against Facebook has to be submitted to Helen Dixon, Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner.
However, a prosecutor general of the European Court of justice believes that in some cases, any national regulatory agency or national court can handle data privacy complaints. If the court finally decides to support it, it may lead to a flood of complaints from other Member States against technology giants, as they do not need to go through Irish regulators. Earlier, the Belgian court referred the case to the European Court of justice after Facebook questioned that Belgian data protection regulators could take action against several Facebook companies over privacy complaints.
Belgian regulators also require the destruction of all personal data Facebook obtains from Belgian Internet users through cookies and social plug-ins. In the court proceedings, Facebook argued that Belgian regulators were not entitled to hear complaints about cross-border data processing because they should be handled properly by Irish regulators. When the case entered the Belgian court of appeal, its scope was limited to Facebook Belgium because the judge had said that he had no jurisdiction over Facebook Inc and Facebook Ireland Ltd.
However, the Belgian court of appeal subsequently asked the European court whether the gdpr actually prevented the national data protection agency from taking court action. Attorney general Michal Bobek acknowledged that Irish regulators have general jurisdiction over cross-border data complaints because the concept of one-stop service is at the core of the gdpr system. The court said in a statement that privacy cases can be handled by one leading regulator, rather than 27 regulators, in order to avoid high cost, heavy burden, time-consuming and other uncertainties and conflicts.