It seems like Meta is not having the best of times. The company was crowned as the “worst company” of 2021 late last year, and we recently saw that Facebook lost over 1 million daily active users for the first time in its history. Now, reports suggest that it might have to shut down its most popular social platforms, Facebook and Instagram, in Europe.
Meta to Shut Down Facebook, Instagram in Europe?
A recent annual report filed by Meta (formerly Facebook) reveals that if the company doesn’t comply with the recent European Union regulation of storing European users’ data, it would have to shut down Facebook and Instagram in the region.
Now, why is that? Let me explain. Previously, the European Union allowed American companies operating in Europe to store the data of the European users on USA-based servers. However, the authorities recently changed this by bringing back the EU-US Privacy Shield, which was declared invalid last year due to privacy concerns. As a result, the EU changed the law and made it mandatory for USA-based companies to store and process European users’ data on Europe-based servers only.
Meta is against this change and says that transatlantic data transfers between the US and Europe are important for ad-targeting and some of its critical operations. Hence, with the new Privacy Shield in place, it would have to stop offering its most-used services, that is Facebook and Instagram in Europe.
“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,” Meta said in a statement.
Now, it is possible that Meta and the European Union might mutually agree on a solution, going forward. This is something, which Meta expects. In a statement to London-based CityM newspaper, Meta’s VP of Global Affairs and Communications, NMick Clegg, said, “We urge regulators to adopt a proportionate and pragmatic approach to minimize disruption to the many thousands of businesses who, like Facebook, have been relying on these mechanisms in good faith to transfer data in a safe and secure way.“
Meta further went on to state that it doesn’t plan to “withdraw from Europe.” However, it remains to be seen what really will happen in the coming weeks. What do you think about the whole situation? Do you think Meta and the EU would reach an agreement? Let us know in the comments below.