Meta wants you to know about Facebook's troubles in Europe. Every three months since June of last year, the company has used its financial results to warn that if it can't send data between the EU and the US, it could be forced to stop running its apps in Europe.
Is Meta's bluffing clear soon enough?
Data regulators are on the verge of making a historic ruling in a years-long case and they are expected to block Facebook's data transfers across the Atlantic. For years, Meta has fought against European privacy activists over how data is sent to the US, with courts ruling multiple times that European data isn't properly protected and can potentially be snooped on by the National Security Agency.
Thousands of businesses across Europe that rely on the services of Microsoft, Amazon, and more could be affected by the case. A long-awaited new data-sharing deal between the US and Europe is being finalized at the same time. Billions of dollars of trade will be put in jeopardy if the negotiations can't get it right.
The Irish Data Protection Commission issued a draft decision at the beginning of July that would prevent Meta from sending data across the Atlantic. The details of the draft decision are not known, but it could lead to a Europe-wide Facebook ban.
The EU's data law gives countries 30 days to scrutinize Ireland's Meta decision and respond to any changes or complaints. It's time to say goodbye to that time. There are some objections that have been received from a small number of other countries. The experts think these are likely to be minor points of law.
How likely is it that Meta will leave Europe? The chances are not very high. Meta published a post titled " Meta Is Absolutely Not Threatening to Leave Europe" on its website. Europe is a large market for Meta and stopping services could be expensive. The company briefly banned news posts in Australia in early 2021. Changes to how it stores and transfers data will have to be made once the final decision from the Irish regulators is published. It could also be fined.