Facebook successfully defended itself against data requests from the EU Commission in two competitive investigations. From the point of view of the social network, these requests are too broad. Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that the judges granted Facebook an injunction on July 24. This means that the document transfer is blocked at least for the time being before a decision in the main proceedings.
Facebook itself is repeatedly criticized for violating the privacy of its members. The company now argued that some of the documents requested had nothing to do with the Commission’s competition investigation. This includes medical information about employees, personal financial documents and information about family members of employees.
Facebook appears to be bothered by the fact that the EU competition authorities have requested all documents that contain a selection of around 2500 terms. According to information from company circles, these include word combinations such as “big question”, “not good for us” (not good for us) or “shut down” (including closing).
The competition watchdogs of the EU Commission examine the marketplace trading platform and the general handling of data by the group. The investigations launched last year are at an early stage and there is no formal competition procedure yet. In such investigations, it is common for authorities to be able to request documents with specific terms.
According to the Commission, Facebook offered to inform people that all documents should be viewed in a “secure data room” to ensure that they were not relevant to the competition investigation – with the restriction that the documents could not be copied. Facebook lawyer Tim Lamb also stressed that the online network is cooperating with the Commission and assumes that hundreds of thousands of documents will be made available to it.
The commission announced that it would defend its position in court.