Meta says it could pull its core social networking platforms such as Facebook and Instagram from the UK and Europe amid a dispute over data protection laws in the continent.
The warning was quietly issued by the social media giant claiming that it could pull its services off if Europe doesn’t allow it to perform transatlantic data transfers.
Europe’s data protection laws are much more heavily regulated compared to the United States and Meta says it wants to transfer those data away from the secure servers in the continent and down to the US.
In an annual report to a US government agency, Meta said that the company will “probably” have to stop offering its “most significant products and services” if a new framework is not adopted.
Meta, however, claimed that sharing data between countries and regions is very critical to providing its services but the European Court of Justice has a different perspective by preventing such acts since the July of 2020.
The main reason for such blockage is just to protect users across Europe from having their data shared or sold without their prior knowledge and Facebook before rebranding to Meta last year has been hit with numerous scandals about data mismanagement.
Although Meta hid the warning in its report, a spokesperson told City AM: “We have absolutely no desire and no plans to withdraw from Europe, but the simple reality is that Meta, and many other businesses, organisations and services, rely on data transfers between the EU and the US in order to operate global services.
They added: “Fundamentally, businesses need clear, global rules to protect transatlantic data flows over the long term, and like more than 70 other companies across a wide range of industries, we are closely monitoring the potential impact on our European operations as these developments progress.”
With the way Facebook is modeled, it relies heavily on advertisement in order to survive and that means taking personal data from users and analyzing them in order to target them with the relevant advertisements possible.
But who knows, the company could escape from this and have a resolution with the EU.