Meta says you may have to pull Facebook and Instagram in Europe beyond the data transfer rules

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, may need to shut down Instagram and Facebook altogether in Europe, the company warned in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The EU has strict data protection requirements for the transfer of personal data from Europe to the United States, and in 2016 the EU and the United States agreed on a data framework for intercontinental transfer called the Privacy Shield.

But that privacy shield is Invalid in July 2020 According to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

New European legislation requires users’ data to be retained and processed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is a European complaints server.

In addition, Meta currently relies on standard contractual clauses (SCCs) to transfer data, which, according to the company, is “subject to regulatory and judicial review.”

The company said (pdfIn August 2020, we received a tentative decision from the Irish Data Protection Commission that Meta’s reliance on SCC for transferring European data is not compliant with the EU’s GDPR.

Therefore, the Irish Data Protection Commission has proposed that such transfer of user data from the EU to the United States should be stopped.

Technology giants, both if cross-continental data processing is important for business, especially advertising targeting, and European users don’t have the option to transfer, process, and receive data on US-based servers. Facebook and Instagram are at risk of being shut down throughout Europe.

“Whether we can also transfer, process, and / or receive certain data that is important to our business, including data shared between the countries or regions in which we do business. It is subject to evolving laws and regulations that govern when it can be done. Data shared between our products and services, “the company said.

“If we are unable to transfer data between the countries or regions in which we do business, or if sharing of data between our products and services is restricted, our ability to provide our services, our provisions. It may affect the way we do it. Our ability to target services or advertisements. “

Instagram app logo
The Instagram app logo will appear on the Los Angeles mobile screen on November 29, 2018. (DamianDovarganes / AP Photo)
Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a joint Senate Judiciary and Commerce Commission hearing in Washington on April 10, 2018. (SamiraBouaou / The Epoch Times)

Meta further clarified that it believes it will be possible to reach a new agreement on a new transatlantic data transfer framework in the first half of 2022.

However, “If the new transatlantic data transfer framework has not been adopted and you cannot continue to rely on SCC, or if you cannot rely on other alternatives to data transfer from Europe to the United States, then Facebook or The number of Europe’s most important products and services, including Facebook. “

He said this could “significantly and adversely affect” the company’s business, finances and overall operations.

The company also expressed concern about data privacy laws currently under consideration in several countries.

“In addition, in some countries, such as India, laws that implement data protection requirements or require similar requirements that may increase the cost and complexity of local storage and processing of data, or the provision of services. Is being considered or passed, “the company wrote.

“New legal or regulatory decisions that limit our ability to collect and use information about minors limit our advertising services or our ability to provide products and services to minors in certain jurisdictions. There is a possibility.”

In a statement London-based City AMNick Clegg, vice president of global affairs at Meta, said the new rules could have a negative impact on all “big and small” business owners across multiple sectors.

“Policymakers are working on sustainable long-term solutions, but turmoil with thousands of companies that rely on these mechanisms in good faith to transfer data, such as Facebook. We urge regulators to adopt a proportional and pragmatic approach to minimize this, in a safe and secure manner, “said Craig.

The Epoch Times contacted a meta-spokesperson for comment.

This warning is due to Meta struggling to retain users and recording the first consecutive loss of customers in the company’s 18-year history.

The company saw a decline from 1.93 billion users in the previous quarter to 1.929 billion users per day, but user growth across WhatsApp and Instagram platforms was also slow.

As a result, stock prices fell by 20%, market value was lost by nearly $ 200 billion, but earnings fell by $ 10 billion.

Catabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She focuses primarily on the United States and covers the news and business of The Epoch Times.