Facebook and Instagram’s parent firm may shut them down in Europe unless data sharing is approved by regulators, US-based global social networking service Meta warned Monday.
“We are subject to evolving laws and regulations that dictate whether, how, and under what circumstances we can transfer, process and/or receive certain data that is critical to our operations, including data shared between countries or regions in which we operate and data shared among our products and services,” it said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
“If we are unable to transfer data between and among countries and regions in which we operate, or if we are restricted from sharing data among our products and services, it could affect our ability to provide our services, the manner in which we provide our services or our ability to target ads, which could adversely affect our financial results,” it added.
EU law requires that European citizens’ data should be processed on servers located in Europe only, and not elsewhere.
In 2020 Ireland’s Data Protection Commission sent Facebook an order to stop transferring user data from the EU to the US. The national authority responsible for data privacy is expected to make a final decision on the issue during the first half of this year.
The European Court of Justice, in addition, also ruled that year that data transfer between the EU and US fails to protect European citizens’ privacy. The EU’s highest legal authority also restricted how American firms can send European users’ data to the US.
“If a new transatlantic data transfer framework is not adopted and we are unable to continue to rely on SCCs (standard contractual clauses) or rely upon other alternative means of data transfers from Europe to the United States, we will likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe, which would materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations,” Meta said in its filing.
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