In its annual report of activities and performances, Meta announced that there is a possibility that Facebook and Instagram cannot operate in Europe in case they cannot transfer their users’ data from the old continent to the United States.
The above, under the context of a new law that is currently under debate in Europe and that is related to how the data of users in the European Union and the Atlantic Ocean are transferred, and which, they say, is intended to protect their privacy. However, this would affect Meta, due to the procedures it currently uses.
This is not something new, for some years now, in Europe there has been a debate about the way in which the personal data of residents of that continent have to be handled.
Currently, Facebook is managed based on the CCS type contractual clauses, which aim to legislate international data transfers, however, Meta ensures that they could not offer products and services in Europe in case they were removed or similar mechanisms existed.
As background, in 2020, the Irish Data Protection Commission sent Facebook a preliminary order to stop the transfer of data between Europe and the United States as they considered the CCS to be «a risk» to the privacy of users. Due to the legal process, the case has not yet been closed, it is expected to be fully concluded in 2022.
In the event of a ruling in favour of Ireland, Meta would be obliged to separate the data it collects from Europe, in case of non-compliance it could receive fines of up to 4 percent of its annual income.
Despite the possible technical limitations, there is also a statement from an official Meta communicator, in which it was reported that the social media conglomerate does not have the slightest intention of withdrawing from Europe; we will have to wait to see the follow-up of this case.
Previously, to protect the privacy of European user data there was an agreement called Privacy Shield, signed in 2016. In 2020 the Court of Justice of the European Union declared it invalid because they considered that it was not safe, with which the CCS contractual clauses were implemented, which are now being reviewed.