As I am sure you have all read there is a nasty theory on the horizon that Europe will potentially no longer have access to Facebook & Instagram. Over the weekend, several reports suggested that Facebook’s parent company Meta may consider shutting down its services within the EU due to an ongoing legal challenge over how it handles EU user data.

Meta’s most recent SEC update:

“In August 2020, we received a preliminary draft decision from the Irish Data Protection Commission (IDPC) that preliminarily concluded that Meta Platforms Ireland’s reliance on Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) in respect of European user data does not achieve compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and preliminarily proposed that such transfers of user data from the European Union to the United States should therefore be suspended. We believe a final decision in this inquiry may issue as early as the first half of 2022. If a new transatlantic data transfer framework is not adopted and we are unable to continue to rely on SCCs or rely upon other alternative means of data transfers from Europe to the United States, we will likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe, which would materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.”

However a full EU shutdown of Facebook and Instagram seems unlikely. Facebook alone has 427 million users in the EU, and it was the only region where it saw any significant growth (+4m MAU) in the most recent quarter, this is not even including Instagram. The feeling is that Meta would need to exhaust all avenues before that happens and with a ruling not yet finalised, we have not reached this next stage just yet.

Rest easy for the time being but it is something to keep an eye on as the situation develops.