Data Sharing Limitations Could Force Facebook To Leave The EU

HONG KONG - 2019/04/21: In this photo illustration a American online social media and social networking service company Facebook logo is seen on an Android mobile device with the European Union flag in the background. (Photo Illustration by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Millions of Europeans enjoy all the features provided by Facebook every day, but it seems that the situation could change in the future. The massive company has announced that severe rules pushed by European regulators could force it to abandon the European market.

A deal known as the Privacy Shield allowed US technology companies to transfer data between the US and Europe. However, the deal was cancelled by the highest court of the European Union in July, arguing that US laws can’t stop the US government from accessing the data.

Rising issues

Once the ruling was announced, the privacy regulator of Ireland sent an immediate notification to Facebook, asking the company to stop the practice of sending information to its US data centers. Known as the Data Protection Commission, the agency can enforce European privacy regulations on Facebook as to the European headquarters of the company are located in Dublin.

Facebook filled a court filing against the demand, arguing that if the company lost the ability to send data to the US data centers it would not be able to provide Facebook and Instagram access in the EU.

Many users

According to current statistics, Facebook and Instagram enjoy a combined base of more than 400 million users in Europe. A Facebook data protection representative has also argued that the iconic social network is an important communication tool as well as a prime marketing opportunity for many companies.

The representative underlined the idea that Irish regulators rushed to ban data transfers as fast as possible without taking long-term consequences or potential alternatives into account. As such, Facebook has decided to appeal the decision in an Irish court.

Despite the bold claims made by Facebook, it is unlikely that the company is willing to lose a vast amount of users and revenue in the long run, and a middle ground solution could be found.