Meta is currently embroiled in an ongoing back-and-forth with European data regulators over the handling of Facebook and Instagram user data. The primary concern held by data regulators is that, as both platforms are US-based, transferring user data between countries may constitute a violation of privacy.
Today, Meta issued a subtle warning that if a consensus can’t be reached, Facebook and Instagram may be shut down in EU territories. “If a new transatlantic data transfer framework is not adopted and we are unable to continue to rely on SCCs (standard contractual clauses) or rely upon other alternative means of data transfers from Europe to the United States, we will likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe.”
They added that such a shutdown “would materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.”
Facebook, Instagram could shut down in Europe without data deal, Meta warns https://t.co/AWIayuGlET pic.twitter.com/ALAI0PAmmJ
— New York Post (@nypost) February 7, 2022
In response to Meta’s statement, European lawmaker Axel Voss said on Twitter that “Meta cannot just blackmail the EU into giving up its data protection standards,” adding that “leaving the EU would be their loss.”
Yesterday, a Meta spokesperson that spoke to CNBC stressed that the company did not want to end its European dealings, “But the simple reality is that Meta, and many other businesses, organizations and services, rely on data transfers between the EU and the U.S. in order to operate global services.”