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No more Facebook and Instagram in the EU in the future?

Meta is considering not offering Facebook and Instagram in the EU in the future, according to a notice to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The reason given is stricter data protection regulations.

Transfer of personal data to the US no longer possible

The background to the consideration is a dispute that has been going on for years with the Irish data protection authority, which has repeatedly called on Facebook to comply with EU data protection laws. Specifically, the issue is the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US. Such a transfer is hardly possible in compliance with data protection laws, but at the same time it is a central component of the business model of Facebook and Instagram, since the processing of this data is a prerequisite for the display of personalized advertising.

Behind this dispute, in turn, are several rulings by the European Court of Justice, which have declared the basis of the data transfer to be inadmissible and thus legally removed the ground from under their feet. The last two significant steps in the dispute took place in August 2020 and May 2021: the Irish data protection authority called on Facebook to stop the data transfer, and the High Court dismissed a subsequent lawsuit by Facebook.

If Meta does indeed have to stop the transfer, the group does not know “how Facebook and Instagram services can continue in the EU under these conditions,” according to the now-published notice. It said it is therefore likely that it “will not be able to offer a number of our key products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe.”

Withdrawal unlikely

Despite these comments, a withdrawal from the EU seems highly unlikely, as it represents a financially important market for Meta. Recently, there was a massive drop in the stock price after a decline in the number of users was reported; furthermore, Meta announced that it expected a decline in sales due to the data protection regulations in the EU. Against this background, it seems unlikely that the company will voluntarily give up a significant portion of its users.

Accordingly, a spokesperson for the company told the business newspaper A.M. that there was no interest in such a withdrawal, but that the data transfer between the EU and the U.S. was essential for the offering.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Meta is considering not offering Facebook and Instagram in the EU in the future, according to a notice to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The reason given is stricter data protection regulations. Transfer of personal data to the US no longer possible The background to the consideration is a dispute that has been going … (Weiterlesen...)

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