Ireland Facebook stop transferring European users data order to the US: why it won't be enough, according to privacy experts - The Irish Data Protection Authority has a preliminary order on the table requiring Facebook to stop transferring data from its European users to servers in the United States.

Although it is neither official nor public at the moment, The Wall Street Journal has advanced the news and media such as TechCrunch are already echoing it. It is the first move by a regulatory body after the Court of Justice of the European Union overturned in a July ruling data transfers between the Old Continent and the United States.

What invalidated European justice was the Privacy Shield, the agreement between the US and the EU that precisely regulated data transfers to both sides of the Atlantic.

The CJEU then found that US law did not provide the necessary safeguards to preserve and sufficiently protect the data of European citizens.

Beyond the Privacy Shield, European citizens ' data can be transferred to third countries through legal mechanisms known as standard contractual clauses, or SCC for its acronym in English.

Ireland Facebook stop transferring European users data order

In fact, companies like Google or Facebook have clung to these SCCS. Beyond the uses that citizens can give of the technology platforms themselves of these multinationals, the truth is that much of their code appears on a good number of websites that apparently have nothing to do with them.

The reason is that some Google solutions, such as Analytics, help websites measure their audiences. To do this, pages must embed part of a Google HTML code so that the program can quantify how many visits they receive.

What happens is that both Google Analytics and Facebook Connect Collect a good amount of data from users —from which location it connects, using which device— that is sent to servers in the US using an SCC for processing.

For the same reason, noyb, the privacy activism organization that appealed to the European courts the Privacy Shield with the US, filed last August 101 complaints to data protection agencies in several countries with the aim that these entities begin to put into practice what the decision of the CJEU ruled in July.

In Spain, 5 companies were denounced for having Facebook or Google Code on their websites that was being sent to the US through the SCC. SCCs are legal mechanisms that allow data to be derived or transferred to third countries provided that they have data protection policies comparable to the European Union.

In noyb's opinion, this is not so.

Now, Facebook will argue before the Irish Data control Agency that, beyond the fact that Privacy Shield is no longer legal, the firm needs to "subcontract" the processing of data generated in Europe to the United States. A ploy to further delay this process, in noyb's view.

Max Schrems, the privacy activist and honorary president of noyb, says they welcome the notification that the Irish agency is taking action and "starting to do its job after 7 years of open trials and 5 court decisions." "However, their movement can only half-solve the problem."

In fact, Schrems himself suspects that the Irish Supervisory Authority's preliminary decisions have been leaked to a media outlet: "it shows that the DPC —the Irish agency-was trying to launch a secret procedure without the presence of the complainant [in this case, noyb]," the association says in a press release.

End of Ireland Facebook stop transferring European users data order


Idealista, the last company to enter the select club of Spanish unicorns: who form it and what startups can be the following

The Swedish fund EQT has signed an agreement with Apax Partners to buy its shares of Idealista, acquiring the company for a value of 1.321 million euros. The group, which has about twenty venture capital funds invested in unlisted companies, will take a majority stake in the real estate ad company but will retain the current management team, including Jesús Encinar, its founder and CEO, who will continue to take charge of the daily management of the portal.

The acquisition is not only the biggest sale of a technological in Spain-so far the record was held by the acquisition of AlienVault by AT & T in 2018, 700 million euros through—, but the inclusion of idealist in the exclusive club of Spanish unicorns, a group that until yesterday could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

The portal, born in 2000 from Encinar, his brother Fernando and Cesar Otienza, passed into the hands of the Apax fund in 2015 after buying 80% of the shares, then valued at 273 million euros. Now, 5 years later, it has multiplied by 6 its investment and has gone into the history of the nation's firms.

Idealist International, the holding company that manages Idealist SAU (manager of the real estate portal) and the rest of investee companies, closed 2019 with a net profit of 37,06 million euros, an 156,3% more than in 2018, a drawer of more than 40,000 real estate as customers and 38 million unique visitors a month in the south of Europe, especially in Spain, Italy and Portugal.


In the first half of 2018, only 16 startups from around the world reached the unicorn category. One of them was Cabify, a Spanish transportation service similar to Uber, but operating exclusively in Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking countries such as Spain, Ecuador, Dominican Republic or Portugal. It is currently valued at $ 1,400 million (1,176 million euros).


The startup specializing in the distribution of products at home managed to exceed the 1,000 million dollars valuation at the end of the year after a round of financing led by the Arab fund Mubadala. Present in more than 300 cities in 26 countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa, has been the protagonist of several judicial processes for the employment relationship with its distributors.


The company, whose business focuses on organizing and optimizing the payment service of companies to customers in sectors such as education, health or travel, managed to become the third Spanish unicorn after a round of investment by Goldman Sachs earlier this year, with 120 million dollars in between. Right now, it has 500 employees and revenues "well above" $ 100 million.


Although it reached the unicorn category before Cabify, Letgo has gimmick, since it is not strictly Spanish. Its holding company is located in the United States, but more than half of its employees work in Barcelona, where they form a website and an application that allows users to buy, sell and chat with others locally.


The historic Online Travel Agency based in Barcelona became a unicorn when it went public in 2014 with a valuation of 1,075 million euros. Currently, its market capitalization is 489 million euros while its company value is 900 million.

Aspiring to become a unicorn

The "unicorns" are, in startup jargon, the technology companies valued at more than 1,000 million dollars: at its international head are ByteDance, Uber, Airbnb, Stripe, Didi, JUUL, SpaceX, Kuaishou or Epic Games, among others. In Spain, with the arrival of idealist and counting Lego, we have only 6, but in recent months we have seen how more and more domestic companies receive considerable investment rounds, getting closer and closer to the coveted title.

They are still far away, but their evolution proves them: Holaluz, Másmobile, Fintonic, TravelPerk, Stratio and Logitravel, are some of them. Several still have two or three years of growth, such as a TravelPerk or Spotahome, and others, such as Logitravel, have been in the market for more than 20 years with constant growth. In the case of Holaluz or Moremobile, for example, these are projects that have moved away from the concept of startup but are on the list for their disruptive business models.

According to a study by Viva Technology last March, the list of the 100 most promising startups in Europe (including Israel) with the highest percentage to become a unicorn in the near future only counted 4 Spaniards: TravelPerk, RavenPack, Stratio and Wallapop.

The first, Travelperk, is a travel management company that sells its services to other companies. Its business is based on providing travel and expense management services to businesses by automating spending limits and travel policies. Its founders met while working in Booking, and from there they got the idea to found the firm in 2015.

The second, RavenPack, is no less than one of the 3 largest companies in the world that apply artificial intelligence and big data to financial analysis. The others are 2 well-known giants: Bloomberg and Refinitiv (Reuters). Founded in 2003 by Armando Gonzales, a Californian entrepreneur with an eye on Marbella, this technology firm allows subscribed financial institutions to improve their performance and risk management.

Stratio, for its part, is a startup focused on customer and data intelligence with its own product. In addition to being one of the most recognized firms in the big data segment, it has received Spark certification at the enterprise level since its foundation, in January 2014.

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