According to Antoine Delforge, lawyer and researcher at the Digital Institute, this story is not surprising. “If a judge wishes, he can order a search if he deems it necessary, either in Belgium or in the United States“, explains the expert. So, if Facebook is the subject of a search warrant in Belgium, it must produce its data – even if the social network is not “not always very cooperative“.
American companies are more subject to the goodwill of the authorities and there are very few limits.
Across the Atlantic, “American companies are more subject to the goodwill of the authorities and there are very few limits.”explains Thomas Derèze, data protection expert. “This is also why we saw this famous invalidation of the Privacy Shield, which was in fact a framework that enabled the exchange of information between the EU and the US.“
Indeed, since 2018, “the Americans have a piece of legislation that an American company is obliged to respond to a judge’s requests, even if the data is hosted in Europe“, adds Antoine Delforge.