Meta is considering shutting down Facebook and Instagram in Europe over the region’s unfavourable data regulations. According to the company formerly known as Facebook, EU’s regulations prevent them from transferring, storing, and processing Europeans’ data on US-based servers.
Meta said that if no new framework was adopted, it would be forced to shut down operations in the continent. The company says that processing user data is crucial for business and advert targeting.
“If we are unable to transfer data between and among countries and regions in which we operate, or if we are restricted from sharing data among our products and services, it could affect our ability to provide our services, the manner in which we provide our services or our ability to target ads,” the statement read.
Meta however expressed optimism that it would reach an agreement with the EU saying that if the efforts proved futile “We will likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe”.
Previously, Meta used the Privacy Shield data transfer framework as the legal basis for transatlantic data transfers.
However, the European Court of Justice declared the pact null and void in July 2020, citing data protection concerns. The criterion, according to the EU’s highest legal authority, does not effectively protect European residents’ privacy.
As a result, US corporations have been limited in their ability to transport European customer data to the US, forcing them to rely on SCCs (standard contractual clauses).
The EU responded to the claims, saying that a secure arrangement was a priority to the region and US corporations, but it had to be within the confines of its regulations
“Only an arrangement that is fully compliant with the requirements set by the EU court can deliver the stability and legal certainty stakeholders expect on both sides of the Atlantic.” a European Commission spokesperson told Euronews.