Herr Bischoff

Facebook Postures, Data Protection Exec Ponders Leaving Europe

VICE News:

If the decision is upheld, “it is not clear to [Facebook] how, in those circumstances, it could continue to provide the Facebook and Instagram services in the EU,” Yvonne Cunnane, who is Facebook Ireland’s head of data protection and associate general counsel, wrote in a sworn affidavit.

The decision Facebook’s referring to is a preliminary order handed down last month to stop the transfer of data about European customers to servers in the U.S., over concerns about U.S. government surveillance of the data.

Of course they can, they just don’t want to. I say: let them. I’m willing to bet that Facebook will not leave, they’re just posturing, quite like when Apple introduced new privacy protection measures in iOS 14 that disrupt unchecked data gathering. Therefore:

“The idea that Facebook would withdraw from the European market is absurd brinksmanship that I don’t think anyone truly believes,” Michael Veale, a technology policy researcher at University College London, told VICE News.

Facebook will not leave iOS as a platform and they will not leave the EU. For much the same reasons that Apple won’t leave the Chinese market despite being forced to store all Chinese customer data with a local company and accessible by the government. For all its flaws, I believe Apple to be a company which, compared to Facebook, at the very least has any moral leadership at all. The former has crossed the threshold of neutral to actively harmful long ago.

If they did leave though, I’d make that very date a personal, recurring holiday.