Meta’s products and services like Facebook and Instagram are free, but they’re not really free per se because what you’re “paying” for in exchange for their services would be your personal data that you may or may not have knowingly provided them with. This includes things like pages you interact with, posts you like, stuff you search for on the marketplace, and so on.

Now, over in the EU, consumer data protection laws are especially strict and according to Meta’s annual report filed with the SEC last week, the company notes that they might have to pull their services like Facebook and Instagram out of the EU because if they are unable to reach some kind of data sharing agreement, it would not be profitable for them to remain in the region.

According to the statement, “​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.”

The company says they believe they will be able to reach an agreement this year, but assuming they don’t, “we will likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe.”

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