The European Court of Justice delivers its ruling on a complaint about privacy on Facebook that has major implications for a data protection agreement between the EU and United States. As David Pollard reports, the ruling came as Facebook users in Africa welcomed news of a satellite launch by the social media group to extend internet provision across the continent.
Take an Austrian student and pit him in a legal battle involving the tech giants of the world, and guess who'll win. Well, in this case it was student 1, tech giants 0. Law student, Max Schrems challenged Facebook's transfer of European user data to servers in the US because of the risk of US government snooping. Today, the European Court of Justice upheld that challenge. Reuters correspondent Julia Fioretti. SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, JULIA FIORETTI, SAYING: ''What it means for companies is that they have to find other ways to transfer the data legally without falling foul of EU privacy law, which forbids data transfers to countries outside the EU which don't have the same level of data protection. The United States is one of those countries.'' It's thought the ruling could impact around 4,000 firms including Google, Apple, Ericsson and IBM. For Facebook, though: as one door closes, it's opening another even wider - and with a big welcome from users at this technology hub in Kenya. It's launching a satellite in partnership with France's Eutelsat to bring Internet access to large parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Social media consultant Stephen Musyoka. (SOUNDBITE) (English) STEPHEN MUSYOKA, SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT, SAYING: "Free and better internet will improve lives, that is it. It will help in all sectors, education, health, government, business corporate - it is here." Facebook has nearly 20 million users in Nigeria and Kenya. The satellite's under construction and will be launched in 2016 - and was announced by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg in, where else, a Facebook post.