Facebook v. Belgian DPA case to go to appeal and a German case moves up to the Federal Court

Willem Debeuckelaere, President, Belgium’s Privacy Commission has informed PL&B that the Facebook v. Belgian DPA case (PL&B International Report December 2015 p.1) is to go to the Appeal Court. The hearing is scheduled for 11 May.

The wider EU dimension is also important. PL&B reported in December that DPAs in Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Hamburg supported the position of Belgium's DPA that its ruling should apply across the 28 EU Member States.

1. Why Hamburg? Marit Hansen, Data Protection Commissioner for Schleswig-Holstein, explained that the reason is that Hamburg is the Land (state) where Facebook's German headquarters is located.

2. Do the other Land DPAs in Germany support the position of Hamburg's DPA? Yes, they have discussed this case and they support Hamburg's position.

3. Is there any other legal action in Germany against Facebook? Yes, there is a case, to be heard on 25 February 2016 against Facebook before the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig. The company is resisting an administrative order by Schleswig-Holstein’s Data Protection Commissioner which has already had hearings in two lower courts. See the two reports on DPC website. 

Willem Debeuckelaere will speak about enforcement in Belgium and other issues at Great Expectations, PL&B’s 29th Annual International Conference, 4-6 July in Cambridge.