The Ongoing Battle of Facebook and Instagram to Stay in Europe

The Ongoing Battle of Facebook and Instagram to Stay in Europe

After releasing Facebook’s report at the end of 2021, showing a decline in the number of daily users of the platform, there has been an ongoing circulation of reports today that Facebook and Instagram might be shutting down in the European region. 

As discussed with Meta’s SEC report:

“In August 2020, we received a preliminary draft decision from the Irish Data Protection Commission (IDPC) that preliminarily concluded that Meta Platforms Ireland’s reliance on Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) in respect of European user data does not achieve compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and preliminarily proposed that such transfers of user data from the European Union to the United States should therefore be suspended. We believe a final decision in this inquiry may be issued as early as the first half of 2022. 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, which would materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.”

In 2020, The European Union privacy regulator sent an order to Meta to suspend data transfers from European users to the United States. This is because of the rising concerts of European officials with regards to possible surveillance practices by the US government. It was remembered that the Trump Administration also banned several applications that originated from China such as TikTok because of China’s ruling the CCP and its potential influence on US citizens. 

Due to this, there will be an official ruling of the case that could be happening in the next few months. Here, the company can be forced to reassess its way of data storage. While closing Facebook and Instagram could be a big step and seems unlikely, some resolution can be done by having an agreement on the ways on transferring user data. Maybe these apps can just be kept within the region. Another is for EU nations to consider tax obligations. 

Facebook and Instagram continue to battle their stay in Europe as of 8 February 2022

Implication for Marketers:

With the list of cases being faced by Meta, marketers who use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to regulate their businesses can be greatly affected if ever the number of reports increases further in terms of breaching data security. Much more, with over 427 million users in the region, it is a potential downfall for the company if these platforms close because it was seen that their user performance is growing. Marketers in the region could be directed to other platforms that could deliver their brands to their audiences and potential reach.  

Reference: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/07/meta-threatens-to-shut-down-facebook-and-instagram-in-europe.html

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