Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, is considering leaving Europe if it is no longer able to share data from European users with the US. This will be of interest to European artists and labels. This message, which can be interpreted as a direct threat, was contained in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
This isn’t the first time that the business behind Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram has pulled that ‘trick.’ The warnings are in response to what happened in 2020, when privacy regulators in Ireland informed Facebook that it could no longer utilize standard contractual terms to comply with privacy standards when moving data to the US, known as the Privacy Shield. Personal data is less properly safeguarded in the United States than in Europe, according to the European Court of Justice. Stopping transatlantic data transfers, Facebook instantly warned, might be disastrous for the corporation. In order to provide tailored online adverts, the corporation relies on the processing of user data.
The Irish data protection regulator is presently conducting an investigation. As a result, Meta is still awaiting a final verdict on the lawsuit. It’s possible that this will happen in the first part of this year. In that backdrop, Facebook has issued a warning that “we probably won’t be able to offer some of our core products and services, like Facebook and Instagram, in Europe” unless a viable solution is found.
The case began with a complaint filed by Austrian privacy campaigner Maximilian Schrems against Facebook Ireland, the company’s European headquarters, several years ago. Schrems had protested to the Irish data protection authority over Facebook Ireland’s data transfer to its parent firm in the United States.
Meta’s quarterly earnings are due out on Wednesday, and a representative stressed that developing for the metaverse was not the company’s main goal. He also stated that the new orientation has not resulted in any significant employment cutbacks for current teams.
“There will be entire economies and countries developed digitally using VR/Web3, and we are only scratching the surface,” he stated, referring to next-generation metaverse technology. “This is the sci-fi future, and Meta made the daring move to make it a reality,” he said, noting that Meta was in the lead with virtual reality thanks to products like its Oculus headsets.
Facebook’s foray into the metaverse began at the top. Mike Schroepfer, the long-serving chief technology officer, said in September that he would step down by the end of 2022. In his place, Zuckerberg named Andrew Bosworth, sometimes known as “Boz,” who has directed development on products including the Oculus headsets and Ray Ban Stories smart glasses for the past few years.
In October, the company announced that over the next five years, it would create 10,000 metaverse-related employment in the European Union. In the same month, Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook would be renamed Meta and promised billions of dollars to the project.
Employees claim Reality Labs is now at the vanguard of the company’s metaverse transition. Workers in product development, engineering, and research have been urged to apply for new positions there, according to the sources, while others have been promoted from social networking divisions to oversee the same functions with a metaverse focus.