A dispute over data could mean that Facebook and Instagram are shut down in Europe, according to the parent company of the two platforms, Meta.
This is due to the new European data regulations that stop Meta from transferring, storing, or processing the data of EU citizens on US-based servers.
Meta was previously allowed to legally transfer data between Europe and the US, where the company is based, using a framework called “Privacy Shield”.
However, in July 2020, the European Court of Justice ruled that this treaty violated data protection and doesn’t do enough to protect the privacy of European users.
This means that US companies are restricted when it comes to transferring data, and have been relying on standard contractual clauses until a new, updated treaty is in place.
Meta says that the ability to process data between countries is essential for its business model, which relies heavily on targeted ads for businesses.
It added that, if a new framework isn’t introduced, it wouldn’t be able to use the current model and would probably make the decision to remove its services from the continent altogether.
The company released a statement, which reads: “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.
We will likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe.”
This follows the news that Meta recently saw its shares plummet by 20% after Facebook lost a large number of daily active users for the first time in its history. The company closed with a market cap below $600 billion for the first time since May 2020.
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