In a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has warned it could be forced to close Facebook and Instagram in Europe if it does not find a way to transfer the data from its European users to the US.
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As reported by CNBC, the internet giant is weighing closing the social networks in Europe if the inability to transfer user data back to the U.S. continues.
The revelation stems from a complaint by Maximilian Schrems, an Austrian citizen who wanted to stop the transfer of personal data between Europe and the U.S. Although his complaint was initially dismissed by the Irish courts, Schrems took the case to the High Court.
This referred him to the Luxembourg Court and the highest body of European Justice ended up agreeing with the complainant.
Meta has clarified its position in a statement: “We have no desire or plans to withdraw from Europe, but the simple reality is that Meta, and many other companies, organizations and services, depend on data transfers between the EU and the US to operate global services.”
“Like other companies, we have followed European standards and relied on Standard Contractual Clauses, and appropriate data safeguards, to operate a global service.”
The ruling concludes that the transfer of personal data between the European Union and the U.S. cannot be carried out under the current mechanism. This implies that if Meta does not change the method to manage user information, Facebook and Instagram could have their days numbered in Europe.
However, according to European justice, the U.S. does not offer sufficient guarantees to protect the privacy of the personal data of users on the continent.
The company has warned about the consequences of the Schrems II decision in a very extensive document sent to the SEC, in which Zuckerberg’s company assures that “if a new transatlantic data transfer framework is not adopted and we cannot continue to use ECCs or other alternative means of transferring data from Europe to the U.S, it is likely that we will not be able to offer several of our most important products and services, such as Facebook and Instagram, in Europe”.
Meta is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.