` `

Will Meta Shut Down Facebook and Instagram in Europe?

Misbar's Editorial Team Misbar's Editorial Team
17th February 2022
Will Meta Shut Down Facebook and Instagram in Europe?
Meta issued a warning in its annual report (Getty).

Meta has warned that it may have to suspend its services in Europe if the company cannot continue to transfer user data from Europe to the United States.

In its annual report, Meta said, “If a new transatlantic data transfer framework is not adopted and we are unable to continue to rely on SCCs 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.

The report added that this “would materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.”

A supporting image within the article body

The warning is prompted by a European Union law requiring that European citizens’ data be processed on servers located in Europe exclusively.

In August 2020, the Irish Data Protection Commission sent Facebook a preliminary order to stop the transfer of user data from the European Union to the United States, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

In addition, the European Court of Justice ruled, at the time, that the user data transfers from the European Union to the United States failed to protect the privacy of European citizens. The EU’s highest legal authority has also restricted the way in which U.S. companies can send European users’ data to the United States.

The Irish Data Protection Commission is expected to issue a final decision on the issue by the end of the first half of 2022.

Meta said in its report that it hopes to reach an agreement with the European Union to resolve this crisis within this year.

In a statement published on its official website on Feb. 8, Meta denied allegations that it had withdrawn from Europe. “Meta is not wanting or ‘threatening’ to leave Europe, and any reporting that implies we do is simply not true.” the statement read. “Much like 70 other EU and US companies, we are identifying a business risk resulting from uncertainty around international data transfers,” the statement added. Meta’s press statement continued to explain the situation: “This is not new. We’ve raised international data transfers in each of our earnings since at least Q2 2018 and highlighted the specific risk to our services in Europe and the need for a safe, secure EU-US data transfer mechanism in our last four earnings.”

“Businesses need clear, global rules to protect transatlantic data flows over the long term and, like other companies across a wide range of industries, we are closely monitoring the potential impact to the millions of people and businesses who use our services as these developments progress,” Meta said in the statement.

“We hope to see continued progress in negotiations for a Privacy Shield replacement to protect transatlantic data transfers, ensure robust privacy protections and keep global communities, economies, businesses, and families connected,” the social media giant concluded.


This article is written by Islam Aziz
Translated by Ahmed N. A. Almassri

Misbar’s Resources