Meta threatens Europe to pull Facebook and Instagram if it can’t target ads

The company formerly known as Facebook wants Europe to withdraw its ruling that limits the collection of user data, since it affects the quality of the ads that its applications offer, that is, it affects its income tool.

Meta says in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it is considering leaving Europe if it cannot continue exchanging European user data with the United States, following the Schrems II decision.

The Schrems II decision is a key judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union which, in July 2020, declared that the Privacy Shield, the EU and US personal data transfer mechanism, was no longer legal.

The Privacy Shield is a US law that gave US authorities the right to collect personal data from EU data subjects, according to the Court, without adequate safeguards.

In addition, the judgment affirms that the owners of data from the EU lacked effective means to claim the US Government.

This action dates back to 2011, when the Austrian lawyer, activist and writer Maximillian Schrems reviewed the 1,222 pages of information that Facebook had about him . He discovered data he believed he had deleted and other data he had not consented to be shared and lodged a complaint with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.

Today, with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in place , the principles of the US Privacy Shield have been declared non-compliant and therefore invalid.

The Schrems II ruling affects all US companies, and not just Facebook. It includes Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, whose cloud services make up most of the Internet in the Western world.

Previously, Google Analytics and Google Fonts were in court, where it was claimed that Google Fonts sent personal data, such as IP address, to another service without permission and without a clear and valid reason to do so.

Although Schrems II invalidates the Privacy Shield, the legal protections offered by the Standard Contractual Clauses and the Binding Corporate Rules remain in force.

However, Facebook is threatening to pull out of Europe if it can’t continue to share European user data with its US operations, apps and data centers.

While the European Court of Justice affirms that personal data is less protected in the United States than in Europe, Facebook affirms that the interruption of transatlantic data transfers will have a devastating impact on its advertising capacity.

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