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Facebook and Instagram on the Verge of shutting down in Europe; What actually happened?


In a recent turn of shocking events, Meta has said that Facebook and Instagram may shut down across Europe. This decision stems from the problem surrounding the European Data Regulations, which do not allow Meta to trade, store or process European’s data on any US-based servers.  As the problems continue to rise in the Meta extension, Europe has started to strengthen its hold.

For Meta, processing user data is crucial for their business and advertisement targeting. Meta needs to change many of its existing areas in order to develop a better business model. In case Europe does not allow Meta to go along with their plans, it may soon shut down. 

Meta, previously known as Facebook, has long been a business hub for different kinds of workforces. Their workload depends on transferring data between and among countries. In case such things are restricted, their models could incur heavy loss and they would be unable to provide the services they want to. Their targeted ads are known for being specific to people. 

It is not that Meta wants to pull of Europe, a Meta spokesperson clarified on Monday. They want to reach a new agreement that could benefit both sides. However, if the Europe Data Regulations are unable to process their request, Facebook and Instagram would fail to offer a number of products that they are known for. 

The problem arises from the Data Dispute. Meta could earlier transfer data from Europe using a framework called Privacy Shield. However, in July 2020, the European Court of Justine annulled the treaty because of the violations of data protection done by Meta, post which the name was changed from Facebook to Meta. According to the court, Meta failed to protect the privacy of European citizens. According to reports, Facebook has been said to exploit the users’ data from the United Kingdom for their own profit. Thus, any US Company was restricted from Sending European user data to the USA. 

As of now, both the EU and US are said to be working on a better treaty that is able to benefit both sides. European Commission is more invested in protecting the data of their users. Negotiations between companies and the EU have intensified and there is regular contact between the EU and US Secretary for Commerce. If US companies can comply with the requirements set by the EU court, they may be able to run their services throughout Europe in a better sense. Because of the complexity of the issues, the negotiations are taking some time. 

Meta has been seeing a time of downfall, as its stock plummeted 25 percent after it lost a large number of daily active users in all of its history. If Facebook and Instagram shut down in Europe, they may lose an even bigger percentage and continue on the path of loss. With the privacy deals and problems in Facebook and Instagram that surfaced last year, it is clear that Meta needs to have that kind of engagement. However, with strict privacy laws, it may become difficult for Meta. 

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