In its annual report for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Meta threatened to shut down Facebook and Instagram if the company can’t process data from European users in the U.S. The report addressed the “complex and evolving U.S. and foreign laws” that could “harm” Meta’s business.

Here’s the issue. Meta processes user data between countries, whereas as EU laws currently protect user privacy by keeping all data within the bloc’s jurisdiction. Therefore, Meta thinks it won’t be able to continue to provide a number of services if the situation doesn’t change. In the report, the company emphasized the need to find a new transatlantic data framework. They want a framework that would allow it to transfer data from European users to the U.S.

The report explains:

“If we are unable to transfer data between and among countries and regions in which we operate, or if we are restricted from sharing data among our products and services, it could affect our ability to provide our services, the manner in which we provide our services or our ability to target ads”.

Meta clarifies that it believes it will be able to reach new agreements in 2022. However, if it does not, the company is ready to take action. In fact, the statement emphasizes the fact that it will likely be unable to offer a number of significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, for users in Europe.

It’s almost inconceivable to think Meta would halt its operations for users in Europe. Nonetheless, the tech giant seems to think that it would not be profitable to continue without a new agreement. This case is far from over, as more developments will come in the future.