Following an Irish watchdog’s decision that their parent company Meta could not share Europeans’ data with the US, Facebook and Instagram may be forced offline in Europe.
Both social media platforms will be unavailable to European users this summer if EU regulators approve, Politico reported on Thursday.
Although Meta acknowledged the privacy regulator’s decision in Ireland, it did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Independent.
A Meta representative told Politico that “this draft decision, which is subject to review by European Data Protection Authorities, relates to a conflict of EU and US law that is in the process of being resolved.”
“We welcome the agreement between the EU and the US for a new legal framework that will permit the continued transfer of data across borders, and we expect that framework will allow us to maintain families, communities, and economies connected.”
In Europe, Facebook has more than 300 million daily active users, or more than 10% of all users worldwide.
With more than a quarter of all users based there, Europe has an even higher proportion of Instagram users than the rest of the world.
Other European privacy regulators have received the Irish Data Protection Commission’s blocking order, and they will comment on it over the course of the coming month.
An EU-US data flow agreement known as Privacy Shield was declared invalid by the European Court of Justice in 2020 as a result of years of court battles between privacy activists and the US technology giant.
“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,” Meta stated in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in March.