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Meta is threatening to shut down Facebook and Instagram in Europe if it is not allowed to use the data collected about users

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Following the stock market crash, Meta is threatening to shut down Facebook and Instagram networks for European consumers if the decision to block the use of the collected user data for advertising purposes is not immediately reversed.

Named Schrems II, the ruling of the European Court of Justice prevents Mark Zuckerberg’s company from transferring data collected about connected Facebook users from across Europe to Meta servers managed in the United States. In contrast, data that is managed on servers hosted in Europe and monitored by representatives of the EU authorities can only be used for advertising purposes with very strict limits on access to potentially sensitive data, such as information on sex, sexual orientation, or related to the minor public. Indeed, Facebook’s revenue from European consumers has fallen sharply. And if you take into account the obstacles posed by Apple, which simply no longer allows the exploitation of iPhone users by collecting virtually unlimited data about them, already, the prospects for companies focused almost exclusively on capitalizing on data collected online begin to look bleak.

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Almost amusingly, the Schrems II bill, upheld by the European Court of Justice in July 2020, came in almost a direct response to the Privacy Shield package, voted in the United States after lengthy lobbying by economic entities. directly interested. Specifically, US laws still in force in the United States allow judicial authorities to collect personal data about European citizens without a warrant or explicit approval. Conveniently, the legislative vacuum created leaves comparable privileges for companies that have more or less directly supported that package of laws. Without jurisdiction over companies allowed to collect data voluntarily using servers hosted in the US, the European authorities had virtually no choice but to impose the practice of data collection itself, using servers hosted on European territory and thus subject to EU law.

Faced with a sharp drop in revenue and the prospect of declining user numbers, the Facebook administrator already seems willing to threaten the “nuclear” option, namely simply shutting down Facebook and Instagram platforms for European consumers, if the criteria for their profitability are not met. renegotiated as soon as possible.

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Earlier, rival Google, Google Analytics and Google Fonts were investigated in Europe, with judges finding that Google Fonts was sending personal data, such as IP address, to another service without permission and without a clear and valid reason to do so. thing.

While some fear that Europe will be alienated from major US cloud service providers, and the ruling on Google Fonts sets a precedent in cases where content is streamed from a content distribution network (CDN), there are other regimes. which are approved to send EU-US data. While Schrems II invalidates the Privacy Shield, the legal protections granted to the Standard Contract Terms and Mandatory Corporate Rules remain in effect.

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