Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company, plans to leave Europe if the group is not allowed to exchange European user data with the United States. The social media company repeats this message in a document submitted to the United States Security Commission (SEC). This is not the first time the company behind Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram has heard this complaint. In 2020, Irish privacy officials told Facebook that they could not use standard contract terms in compliance with privacy rules when sending data to the United States.
Irish authorities have banned Facebook after a European court overturned a data sharing regulation known as the “Privacy Shield”. According to the court, personal data is less protected in the United States than in Europe. Facebook immediately warned that halting Atlantic overseas data transfers could have a devastating impact on the company. To deliver targeted online advertising, the company relies on the processing of user data.
Facebook is currently under investigation by the Irish Data Regulator. So the meta is still waiting for the final result in this matter. That could happen in the first half of this year. In the meantime, the US company has warned that it is “impossible to offer some of our flagship products and services in Europe, including Facebook and Instagram,” unless a good solution is found.
Facebook Ireland began the lawsuit several years ago with a complaint by Austrian privacy activist Maximilian Shrews about the company’s European headquarters. Mr Shremes had complained to the Irish Data Protection Commission that Facebook was transferring Ireland’s personal data to its parent company in the United States. He wondered if the data was adequately protected in the United States.
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