Mark Zuckerberg has been considering shutting down Facebook and Instagram in Europe if Meta isn’t able to process Europeans’ data on US servers.
Meta faces an issue within their transatlantic data transfers. These data transfers are regulated through the Privacy Shield put in place by Meta to store data from European users on American servers as well as this meta also uses Standard Contractual Clauses as a basis for processing data. As it stands the EU is not very optimistic about Metas current data transfer agreements.
Within its annual report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission Meta explained that if this framework or alternative frameworks are unable to be adopted or the company can no longer use current model agreements then the apps will be unlikely to be able to be offered in the EU.
In order to operate effectively and encourage targeted advertising it is essential that data is shared between regions hence why they previously had the Privacy Shield framework to transfer data but in July 2020 the European court of Justice annulled the treaty due to concerns surrounding data privacy. But the US has claimed that they are working on a new treaty.
When Facebook was asked about the situation they shared a statement from Nick Clegg Meta’s VP of Global Affairs and Communications saying that
“A lack of safe, secure and legal international data transfers would damage the economy and hamper the growth of data-driven businesses in the EU just as we seek a recovery from Covid-19.. We urge regulators to adopt a proportionate and pragmatic approach to minimise disruption to the many thousands of businesses who, like Facebook, have been relying on these mechanisms in good faith to transfer data in a safe and secure way”
It is clear that in order to protect the livelihood of many businesses across the EU the European court of justice must consider the impact of not adjusting to suit accommodating these data transfers and hopefully adapt accordingly.
Finally, for our previous #SocialShort, click here.