The Irish Data Protection Commission (IDPC) issued a draft decision on July 7th that will prohibit Meta’s ability to transfer large chunks of data from the EU to the U.S.
While this draft decision primarily impacts Meta, any company that regularly transfers data on EU users to the U.S. could be affected. It is important to note that this draft decision is subject to review by other commissions prior to being enacted.
We spoke with the experts at Tinuiti to find out how this is expected to impact advertisers and what you should do to prepare.
Who is the Data Protection Commission (DPC)?
The DPC is the Irish supervisory authority for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and also has functions and powers related to other important regulatory frameworks including the Irish ePrivacy Regulations (2011) and the EU Directive known as the Law Enforcement Directive.
How Will the Irish Data Protection Commission Update Impact Advertisers?
Should this decision become final after the review period it would:
- Block Meta from sending data about European users to the US, potentially suspending Facebook and Instagram services in Europe. (This does not impact other Meta services such as WhatsApp)
- Force all cross-national companies to revisit data transfer practices.
Is the IDPC decision final?
No, this is not a final decision. There is still a long way to go with this process, in which the U.S. and EU lawmakers are continuing to take necessary steps to approve the legal framework and transfer of data. The EU and U.S. governments are already negotiating a legal framework that would allow Meta to continue operating in the EU.
What is the immediate impact?
There is no immediate disruption of services or ads being served within the EU. The decision is due to be reviewed by the other concerned supervisory authorities in the EU but it is unclear how long this process might take.
Can advertisers continue to use Meta platform and tools?
Yes, businesses are able to continue to use Meta’s tools and solutions for their advertising needs.
Has Meta issued a statement in response to the IDPC announcement?
Yes, according to reports, Meta has issued the following statement:
“This draft decision, which is subject to review by European Data Protection Authorities, relates to a conflict of EU and U.S. law which is in the process of being resolved,” a Meta spokesperson said on Thursday.
“We welcome the EU-U.S. agreement for a new legal framework that will allow the continued transfer of data across borders, and we expect this framework will allow us to keep families, communities and economies connected.”
3 Ways Advertisers Should Prepare for the Irish Data Protection Commission Update
While the likelihood of Meta’s services being shut down in Europe is slim, at Tinuiti, we encourage advertisers who target audiences in the EU to take the following steps to lessen the impact if it does occur:
- Diversify Your Channel Mix – Other social platforms will not be directly or immediately impacted allowing for ongoing advertising opportunities. In today’s market, diversification of media mix that doesn’t over-rely on any one channel is essential. Your audience is engaging on multiple platforms – are you?
- Strengthen First Party Data – Bulk up and refresh email lists to scale spend in other markets with accurate and cost-effective retargeting.
“It’s crucial that retailers hone in on their first-party data strategy. With a strong first-party data strategy, collecting information on contacts with their consent will be the key to unlocking information about your audience and continue 1:1 personalization in messaging.” – Leah Lloyd, Senior Director, Lifecycle Marketing at Tinuiti
- Explore New Data Partnerships – And finally, advertisers should be leveraging data from companies compliant with EU regulations will allow you to continue to reach key audiences.
Brands will, realistically, have to play ball with the new privacy requirements and adjust to the new normal. The push to privacy will impact all advertisers. Find out everything around new restrictions, cookies, IDFA, first-party data, and all things privacy from our Tinuiti experts here.