Ireland refers Facebook to an EU court

European flagThe data protection commissioner for Ireland said yesterday that it was asking an EU court to investigate whether Facebook is breaking EU law by shipping data to the United States.

Data privacy rules in the European Union are strict and companies based in the trade area have to obey the rules or face fines and other penalties.

The European Court of Justice stopped an agreement between the EU and the USA which let US companies freely ship data it collects in Europe.

But Facebook isn’t apparently upset by the plans and is confident it won’t face sanctions from the court.

The Court of Justice stopped the EU-USA agreement, called Safe Harbour, because it feared surveillance from the Americans.

The EU and the USA are working frantically to open up a new scheme called the Privacy Shield which could be signed as early as next month.

But this new agreement may also face sanctions from the European Court of Justice, according to reports.