Will Europe force Facebook to shut down?

“My guess is that if Meta wants to continue operating in the EU, they’re going to have to consider some form of geographic segregation,” said Calli Schroeder, global privacy consultant at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit digital rights research organization. organize. Schroeder, who has worked with companies on international data transfers, said this approach could mean Meta would have to create its own servers and data centers in the European Union that wouldn’t be able to connect to its wider database.

Harshvardhan Pandit, a computer science research fellow at Trinity College Dublin who is studying the GDPR, said the final decision, which has yet to be announced as data authorities are still considering Meta’s case, may include several caveats or steps that Meta should take in line. E.g, A recent data protection decision In Europe, a company has six months to change its business.

“I think the most pragmatic solution is for them to create European infrastructure, like Google or Amazon, where they have a lot of data centers,” Pandit said, adding that Meta could also introduce more encryption to the way it stores data and Maximize how much it retains in the EU. However, all these measures are costly. Meta’s director and deputy general counsel, Jack Gilbert, said the issue was “in the process of being resolved.” Facebook did not specifically respond to questions about its plans to respond to the Irish decision.

European officials have twice ruled that the systems set up to share data between the EU and the US do not adequately protect people’s data — complaints that have been processing Since the early 2010s. European Court of Justice ruled that international data-sharing agreements fell short of standards in the first place . 2015 Then again in July 2020 When the Privacy Shield Agreement was ruled illegal.

“When organizations transfer data to other countries, all the EU asks is to protect that data in accordance with GDPR,” said Nader Henein, Gartner’s research vice president dedicated to privacy and data protection. “The problem is that the U.S. protects ‘non-resident foreign countries’. Laws on people’s data are seriously inadequate, making it difficult for organizations like Facebook to comply with local laws and GDPR.”

While Meta is the focus of the most high-profile complaints, it’s not the only company affected by a lack of clarity on how European companies send data to the United States. “Data transfer issues are not Meta-specific,” Meta chief strategy officer David Wehner said in a July Earnings Conference Call. “It’s about how general data for all U.S. and EU companies is transferred back and forth to the U.S.”

The impact of the July 2020 decision to remove the Privacy Shield can now be felt.Since January this year, several European data regulators have Ruling on the use of Google Analyticsthe company’s website traffic monitoring service violated GDPR. Danish Authorities Go Further: Schools Can’t Use . Unlimited Chromebooks“There’s a lot of uncertainty around the law and there’s a lot of compliance risk,” said Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna, vice president of global privacy at the Future of Privacy Forum, a nonprofit think tank.

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