Last month, a top court in Europe made a decision that will have a big impact on many tech companies – and determine whether Facebook can continue to transfer data between European countries and the U.S.
Favoring themselves over others? In addition, a division of the European Union is considering whether the social media company and others like it are unfairly favoring their own services over others. Finally, at least five data protection companies are putting Facebook’s privacy settings under scrutiny. It’s clear that times have changed for Facebook in Europe – the social networking company is now drawing the short stick when it comes to regulations.
For years, European policy makers have kept a close eye on American tech companies and pressured them into playing by European guidelines. For example, Microsoft and Intel recently got their hands slapped for monopolistic practices in the European market. Google has also been under inspection and is now facing accusations that it put its own search products over competitors in search results.
Regulators looking at Facebook. Facebook, however, has been the focus of regulator interest lately. As a result, the social network has been running into regulatory problems that could potentially hurt its attempts to become an international leader in Internet messaging, online publishing and digital advertising.
“Platforms like Facebook have grown quickly to become global forces,” said Serafino Abate, a director at the Center on Regulation in Europe, “But with size comes responsibility.”
Responsibility is just what European regulators expect Facebook to take. The company has almost doubled user numbers, up to around 260 million. The social network has more active users in Europe than it does in the U.S.