FEB 10, 2022 | US | EUROPEAN UNION
Is Facebook Going to Have to Pull Out of Europe?
Bloomberg, February 10, 2022
By Naomi Nix
After Edward Snowden exposed just how much spying the US National Security Agency was doing overseas, the Obama administration and European leaders were forced to strike a new transatlantic data transfer pact—enshrining the digital privacy rights of European citizens. When a court struck that pact down in 2020 over concerns that Europeans’ data still wasn’t safe on US soil, it threatened not just Facebook but most businesses that transport digital information across borders.
Now, US and EU regulators have for months been trying to negotiate a new agreement for data flows across the Atlantic.
Meta believes a lot is riding on the deal. The company said in its annual report that if it can no longer rely on its standard contract clauses, or the European Union and the United States don’t come up with a new agreement, then it may have to pull Facebook and Instagram from Europe.
But whether Europeans can post to Instagram isn’t the only issue at stake. Aaron Cooper, vice president of global policy for BSA | The Software Alliance, said the ability to transfer data between nations is important to all sorts of companies for all sorts of reasons. “If you’re an airline, or a bank, or a health-care company, or a manufacturer or a retailer, you are transferring data back and forth between different countries,” he said. “Anything involving cloud computing, you’re probably transferring data back and forth.” Cooper’s group represents software businesses including Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and Amazon Web Services—but not Meta.
BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that help businesses of all sizes in every part of the economy to modernize and grow.
With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.