Europe’s Data Ban Is A Death Star To US Tech

If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, then the European Union is building a super highway towards techno-hades.

Although the data ban law protects European Union citizens from a spy-hungry American government, it could also force major American tech companies to potentially exit the region.

The European Court of Justice in 2020 annulled an EU-U.S. data flows pact called Privacy Shield because of fears over U.S. surveillance practices. In its ruling, it also made it harder to use another legal tool that Meta and many other U.S. firms use to transfer personal data to the U.S., called standard contractual clauses (SCCs). This week’s decision out of Ireland means Facebook is forced to stop relying on SCCs too. […]

“If a new transatlantic data transfer framework is not adopted and we are unable to continue to rely on SCCs or rely upon other alternative means of data transfers from Europe to the United States, we will likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe,” Meta said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March this year.


Although many individuals would enjoy seeing Google & Meta (aka Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etcetera), the reality is that this law could negatively affect federated services like email & Mastodon (the latter which yours truly uses).

Maarten Wolverine (via European Cultural Foundation)

Would Europeans using American data servers be forced to abandon their respective hosts due to an overreaching bureaucratic blunder‽ Or would companies & individuals ignore the European Union & download a VPN‽ (probably the latter)

Although such a law would at best hinder large corporations (who could simply move their servers to a defiant country like Poland 🇵🇱 or Hungary 🇭🇺), smaller law-abiding businesses might be forced to part ways with European clients because the EU leaders lacked proper foresight.

Featured Image Credit: Corridor Crew via The Irish Sun