If Meta is no longer permitted to transfer, store and process data from EU users on its US-based servers, it could shut down Instagram and Facebook in Europe.

Reported first by iTWire, this is according to Meta’s annual report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange. The issue lies with transatlantic data transfers regulated via ‘Privacy Shield’ — a transatlantic data transfer framework — and other agreements that the company uses to store and use data from European users on American servers.

As of now, the agreements that enable data transfer are heavily being regulated in the European Union. Meta in its recent report to US SEC, Meta has warned that if a new framework isn’t put into place and the company won’t be allowed to use the existing model agreements, it will ‘probably’ no longer be able to offer many of its ‘most significant products and services’ which include Facebook and Instagram.

Meta stressed on the fact of how important sharing data between the nations is for the provision of its services and targeted advertising.

Privacy Shield was annulled by the European Court of Justice in July 2020 due to data protection violations. Since then, the EU and the US have stressed on the fact that they’re working on an updated version of the treaty.