Facebook threatens to leave Europe




Facebook has threatened to stop operating in Europe if it has to stop sending data to servers in the United States. Facebook accuses European regulators of injustice and prejudice.





The Irish Data Protection Commission has directed Facebook to stop transferring data from European users to servers located in the United States. In response, Facebook filed a lawsuit. The company accused the Irish regulator of injustice and bias. According to Facebook, the Irish Commission gave the corporation three weeks to comply with the order. This term is considered insufficient by Facebook. Facebook also complains that European regulators give it a lot more attention than other tech corporations.

“No other major technology company using similar methods of transferring data to the US from the EU is under the same control. If the transfer of data to the United States is suspended, and this will only affect Facebook, this could seriously affect the competition, “- said on Facebook.

At a trial in Dublin, Facebook officials said the Irish Commission's decision would force the company to leave Europe.

“If the court upholds the decision, it is unclear how, in these circumstances, Facebook will be able to continue working in the EU,” Facebook points out.

Facebook's departure from the EU will leave 410 million people without the company's services, including Instagram. According to Vice, the court allowed Facebook to continue working and suspended the Irish Commission's data transfer ban, although the regulator may challenge this decision.

According to some experts, Facebook's ultimatum is nothing more than an empty threat.

“The idea that Facebook will leave the European market is absurd, which I think no one believes in,” Michael Vel, a researcher at University College London, told Vice News.





Ireland became the first country to require Facebook to comply with an EU court ruling overturning the Privacy Shield. In July, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg declared the mechanism that allowed the transfer of personal data of users from Europe to the United States and the storage of information on American servers invalid. The court ruled that US domestic law cannot provide the level of protection of users' personal information that EU law requires. In the case of non-execution of the court decision, Facebook will face a fine of 4% of its annual revenue, that is, $2.8 billion.

This decision was the result of a lawsuit filed by Austrian lawyer and activist Max Schrems against the EU division of Facebook. In his lawsuit, Schrems challenged Facebook's provisions regarding user personal data. According to the activist, the company's rules do not protect the personal data of users and violate the laws of the European Union. He also believed that Facebook could transfer user data to the US National Security Agency.

This decision could also disrupt the work of thousands of multinational companies doing business in the US and Europe, writes The Wall Street Journal. The ban could force some companies, including Facebook, Google, and Apple, to open expensive data centers in Europe or leave the region. The publication also notes that blocking data transfers in the United States could result in the loss of billions of dollars from cross-border data transactions, including cloud services, personnel management, marketing, and advertising.





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