Almost everyone you know uses Facebook or Instagram–your friends, family, co-workers. For many people they couldn’t imagine life without the two platforms. What if you suddenly could not use Facebook and Instagram? Well, if you’re an Invstr living in Europe, you might not be able to use them soon.
Meta said last Thursday that it is considering shutting down the two services in Europe. What’s the reason for Meta’s announcement? It’s all about data.
Meta wants to transfer its users’ data from Europe back to the US, but regulators in Europe don’t want them to. According to the Wall Street Journal, in August 2020, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission sent Meta a preliminary order to cease moving user data from the EU to the US.
In addition to Ireland’s order, in July 2020, the European Court of Justice, the EU’s top judicial authority, found that EU and US data transfer laws fail to protect the privacy of EU citizens. And after determining that EU citizens had no way to protect their privacy and resist surveillance by the American government, the court limited how US companies could transfer European user data to the US.
A US agency like the National Security Agency (NSA) could hypothetically order companies like Meta to send over data on an EU citizen and the EU citizen would have no idea.
Meta says if they’re unable to transfer EU data back to the US, they will likely be unable to offer Facebook and Instagram in Europe. They said this “would materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.”
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.