Meta could withdraw Facebook and Instagram from Europe

Meta could withdraw Facebook and Instagram from Europe

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(Pocket-lint) – Meta has threatened to shut down some of its services in Europe, including Facebook and Instagram, if it cannot circumvent some of the transatlantic data transfer restrictions outlined in EU GDPR regulations.

As part of its annual report, the company claimed that “evolving” regulations could result in an inability to operate in certain European regions: “If we are unable to transfer data between and among the countries and regions in which we operate, or if we are restricted from sharing data between our products and services, it could affect our ability to provide our services,” he wrote.

Meta points to a few regulatory decisions and changes made in 2020 that negatively affect the transfer of user data between the EU and the US. And, if they are not addressed or if its previously agreed Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) are breached, it might have no choice but to cease operations in European countries:” If a new transatlantic data transfer framework is not adopted and we are unable to continue to rely on SCCs or other alternative means of transferring data from Europe to the United States, we probably won’t be able to offer a number of our most important products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe,” he said. .

After the introduction of GDPR regulations in EU member states, Meta (then Facebook) was granted certain exemptions to allow it to transfer the required data between its server centers in Europe and the United States. However, measures such as the Privacy Shield transfer framework have been invalidated. The company’s use of SCCs has also been subject to judicial review.

As a result, unless Meta is permitted to transfer personal data between its servers for each of its services, it will no longer be able to perform them.

The company’s global communications manager and former UK politician, Nick Clegg, told City AM that the restrictions will not only hurt Meta: “A lack of safe, secure and legal international data transfers would hurt the economy and hamper the growth of data-led businesses in the EU, just as we seek recovery from Covid-19,” he said.

“The impact would be felt by businesses large and small across multiple industries. In the worst case, this could mean that a small tech start-up in Germany would no longer be able to use a in the USA.”

A Meta spokesperson explained: “We have absolutely no desire or plan to withdraw from Europe, but the simple reality is that Meta, and many other companies, organizations and services, depend on data transfers between the EU and US to operate global services,” they added.

Written by Rik Henderson.


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