Image: Facebook

Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, has warned in its latest annual report that it could be forced to pull the plug on these popular social media services in Europe over the lack of a current international data transfer agreement. These agreements allow U.S.-based tech giants such as Meta to transfer, store, and process data from Europe on stateside servers, but the previous one was rendered invalid in 2020 by a European court that didn’t think it was strong enough to protect its citizens. Europeans are afraid of their data being snooped on by U.S. agencies.

Annual Report, Government Regulation (Meta)

  • If a new transatlantic data transfer framework is not adopted and we are unable to continue to rely on SCCs 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, which would materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Meta warns of pulling Facebook and Instagram from Europe over data rules (CNET)

  • Data transfers have been allowed to continue while a new agreement is hammered out thanks to a mechanism known as standard contractual clauses.
  • With the future of EU-US data transfers uncertain, Meta is concerned that it won’t be able to rely on either standard contractual clauses or a new agreement to continue its operations.
  • Many companies based in the US and EU, both big and small, are concerned about the future of data transfers and are keenly awaiting a new agreement that will ensure the future of their operations.

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