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Where might Meta have to pull Facebook and Instagram?

Answer: The European Union.

Meta Facebook rebrand - use once only
Shutterstock/Blue Planet Studio
There’s currently a court battle going on about data transfers between the European Union and the U.S., but if you think that won’t affect you, think again. Facebook parent company Meta says that if things don’t go its way, it may have to shut down its services, including Facebook and Instagram, in the EU.

The crux of the issue can be traced back to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which regulate residents’ control over how their personal data is used. Since the data regulations in the U.S. are not compliant with GDPR, U.S.-based companies like Meta rely on standard contractual clauses to allow data transfers across the Atlantic to occur. A case making its way through the Irish court system, however, challenges the use of these clauses.

The outcome of the case won’t be known for months yet, and even if it doesn’t go in Meta’s favor, it’s not unreasonable to think that the company will somehow find a workaround. But it still acknowledged in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission the possibility of things escalating to the point that its platforms might be no more in the EU.