Facebook’s disappointment over EU’s disintegrated investigations grows

Social media firm’s executive threatened EU with fewer features and asserted that “the results could be disastrous for Europe

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Richard Allan, Facebook’s head of policy in Europe, gives a high voice of the company’s disappointment over growing a wave of privacy investigations in an article published by Financial Times Wednesday, April 26.

“Facebook’s costs would increase and people in Europe would notice new features arriving more slowly, or not at all,” Allan wrote.

“And if regulation at the national level is adopted, it could stop start-ups before they even really get started. At a time when Europe is looking to create jobs and grow its economy, the results could be disastrous.”

Facebook is under recent probes from various European country regulators including France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

The company advocates that these regulators don’t have any jurisdiction since Facebook complied with the data protection regulations of Ireland, where the company has established its EU headquarters five years ago.

Allan picks the automotive industry for an example to prove his point and claims that brands such as BMW, Jaguar and Renault might not be the international success stories that they currently are.

“If a car made in France or Germany had to meet separate technical requirements in Poland or Spain, Europe’s car manufacturers would face serious handicaps.”

European officials are very well aware of the Union’s lack of harmonization so that one of the most important tasks of EU’s Digital Agenda for 2020 is called Digital Single Market (DSM), aiming to create a unified set of regulations for privacy, telecommunications and so on. But as its name implies, it will take months for reviewing and approving if not years, even proposals for DSM will be officially unveiled next week.

However, it seems that Allan is implicitly blaming not only a “group of public institutions” but “EU law” itself.
“It is disappointing that a group of public institutions in the EU, which derive their authority in large part from EU law, would take actions that so undermine the EU model — not to mention potentially damaging the development of Europe’s economy.

TRTWorld and agencies