Is Facebook leaving Europe? The dance of online data and privacy

Mariola Sánchez · 26-08-2022 09:00 · Science Chronicles

A few months ago a piece of news echoed through the different media in Europe. Facebook, now known as Meta, and led by its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, threatened to leave Europa by closing most of its services (including the famous Instagram platform). Although the population, in general, considered a risk that this technological giant would leave the European market, for the most expert, this statement was considered a very unbelievable threat.

But, what are the reasons why a company with a strong base in the development of artificial intelligence can consider leaving the European market?

The main reason is economical and is related to how companies can monetize the oil of the 21st century, that is, user data.

The monetization of data by companies is carried out in two main ways: i) internally, allowing to improve operations, productivity, products, or services, and ii) externally, selling the data or making the data available to customers or partners.

It is important to remind readers that the usage of different platforms and the enjoyment of millions of free online content carries a "price": your personal information or private data. The progress of information technology and the Internet makes the scope and extent of data that can be stored grow considerably. Therefore, the existence of a data market is a reality. It is through data mining that is possible to identify structures and patterns within massive amounts of data, such as purchasing habits, which allows companies to generate significant economic benefits. Moreover, this set of activities has given rise to questions related to privacy and security.

 

The right to privacy: do we have control over our personal information?

The answer to this question may not be trivial. The users, providers of private information, cannot participate in the negotiation table on the transfer of that data.

 

Today, privacy and the way we understand it are evolving concepts. Therefore, giving a concrete and exact definition of privacy is a complex task. Given this problem, the right to privacy and how organizations try to deal with its regulation may not be the same in different places worldwide. That is the problem: there is no standard definition that allows harmonizing efforts to guarantee the right to privacy at a global level. Hence, there are different operating laws in the world. Therefore, this affects companies like Facebook, which is already globally present through online commerce and has access to millions of personal data. These companies are affected by different national laws that try to guarantee users' privacy.

 

These legislations present different ways of protecting private data and, therefore, affect how companies can monetize it.

These laws change the way to protect private data in each territory. Therefore, this fact affects how companies can monetize data in each part of the world, precisely attending to the particularities of the operating standard.

 

Operating frameworks regarding privacy 

Currently, there are different regulatory frameworks for the protection of personal data. There are three crucial pieces of legislation at the international level: the ones operating in the USA, China, and Europe. That is so due to the weight they have in the global economy. The General Data Protection Regulation (RGPD) operating in the EU, regulations in the different US states (such as the California Consumer Privacy Act), and the Chinese Cyber ​​Security Law. The three pieces of legislation present points of concurrence but also divergence. Also, each of them presents a problem. For example, the regulation of data in the US is a competence delegated to the different states, resulting in each one having its legislation for data protection. Furthermore, before the arrival of the European GDPR, the transfer of data between the US and the EU was regulated by the Privacy Shield, an agreement signed in 2016 between the US and the European Union that established a primitive framework for data protection. However, the entry into force of European legislation meant abandoning this rule. As a result, globalized companies like Facebook have found themselves with a much more advanced and less permissive standard, making it difficult to transfer data and suffering unprecedented losses. That is what led Facebook to consider leaving the European market.

 

 

We could say that the different regulations do not unanimously advance data rights. In addition, the standards differ in how they operate. 

Figure 1 presents the three main legal frameworks mentioned above and their progress regarding data rights.

 

Figure 1: Main legal frameworks

 

In the opt-in policy adopted by the European standard, firms first have to obtain consumers' consent. However, with the opt-out policy adopted by the American states, it is the concerned consumers who have to act to withdraw their information. In other words, the users of the websites are the ones who have to look for the privacy option and mark their preferences, being a more expensive task and carried out at the end of the interaction. Finally, the Chinese regulation seems to position as a standard of intermediate hardness.

 

In an operational way: would it be possible to reach a harmonization and global consensus of policies?

The problem of not having a common and international standard is the lack of operability for increasingly globalized companies. International trade has evolved thanks to the possibility of online sales, hence the importance of the digital economy and digital markets. Cybercrime, digital piracy, and data leakage are examples of the necessity for a unique international law and standardization of privacy, which can guarantee the future of digital markets. If firms operate worldwide, they are affected by different regulations making mere survival difficult and forcing them to adapt their business constantly. Therefore, to what extent are we willing to sacrifice our privacy to continue enjoying online services like Facebook or Instagram?

 

If the reader wants to delve a little more into the history of the notion of privacy, digital markets, and their regulation, I invite you to read my recent publication in the Journal of Economic Issues of the Association for Evolutionary Economics, entitled: A General Approach on Privacy and its Implications in the Digital Economy, at the following link: https://doi.org/10.1080/00213624.2022.2025729

 

-

This article was sent by Mariola Sánchez. Mariola holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Economics from the University of Valencia (UV). Her main areas of research focus on industrial organization and aspects related to market regulation and competition. In 2015, she got a 4-year pre-doctoral contract for the training of research personnel (FPI) from the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness in Spain. During her doctoral period, she made an international stay at Brown University (USA). In 2019 she earns her doctoral degree with international mentions and Cum Laude. Her thesis was awarded the Enrique Fuentes Quintana Prize in Social Sciences call 2019-2020. Currently, she is a postdoctoral researcher at the Miguel Hernández University of Elche.

Comments

free gay chat no sign up
<a href=https://chatcongays.com>chat avenue gay room</a>
gay dad cam chat

GennieKlmr , 16 Sep 2022

buy cheap essays
<a href=https://au-bestessays.org>definition essay help</a>
i need help writing my essay

MarrisKlmr , 20 Sep 2022

college essay helper
<a href=https://bestcampusessays.com>college essay services</a>
best college essay writing services

DorolisaKlmr , 21 Sep 2022

essay writer cheap
<a href=https://besteasyessays.org>essay writing homework help</a>
custom essays online

MartyKlmr , 22 Sep 2022

online essay writers wanted
<a href=https://bestessayreviews.net>custom essay writing service org</a>
essay on social service

MerolaKlmr , 22 Sep 2022

what is the best essay writing service
<a href=https://bestessaysden.com>please write my essay for me</a>
help me write my essay

AshlenKlmr , 23 Sep 2022

best rated essay writing service
<a href=https://bestsessays.org>easy essay writer</a>
custom college essays

CharitaKlmr , 25 Sep 2022

best writing service
<a href=https://buyacademicessay.com>best essay websites</a>
cheap custom essay writing services

NaniceKlmr , 26 Sep 2022

essays on community service
<a href=https://buy-eessay-online.com>legitimate essay writing services</a>
history essay help

ChelsaeKlmr , 26 Sep 2022

essay checking service
<a href=https://cheapessaywritingservice1.com>fake essay writer</a>
which is the best essay writing service

TammieKlmr , 28 Sep 2022

where can i buy an essay
<a href=https://customcollegeessays.net>custom essays writing</a>
professional college application essay writers

AntonieKlmr , 29 Sep 2022

buy an essay cheap
<a href=https://customessays-writing.org>essays services</a>
narrative essay help

RhiamonKlmr , 30 Sep 2022

best essays
<a href=https://customessaywwriting.com>essay editing services</a>
essay writing homework help

CharoKlmr , 30 Sep 2022

custom essays for cheap
<a href=https://customs-essays-writing.org>help me essay</a>
best writing services

DronaKlmr , 01 Oct 2022

write my essay today
<a href=https://firstessayservice.net>essay writer generator</a>
order cheap essay

TwylaKlmr , 02 Oct 2022

best custom essay writers
<a href=https://geniusessaywriters.net>essayhelp</a>
help with essays assignments

LeilahKlmr , 03 Oct 2022

help with writing essay
<a href=https://howtobuyanessay.com>essay correction service</a>
help me write a descriptive essay

CthrineKlmr , 04 Oct 2022

help with essay papers
<a href=https://lawessayhelpinlondon.com>professional essay editing service</a>
instant essay writer

GinnieKlmr , 09 Oct 2022

essay service
<a href=https://writemyessaycheap24h.com>best essay writing website</a>
write my history essay for me

EasterKlmr , 13 Oct 2022

essay on service to humanity
<a href=https://bestcampusessays.com>buying essay</a>
college admission essay help

DorolisaKlmr , 19 Nov 2022

custom essay station
<a href=https://besteasyessays.org>easy essay help</a>
online essay help

MartyKlmr , 20 Nov 2022

mba essay help
<a href=https://bestessayreviews.net>write my essay generator</a>
essay help

MerolaKlmr , 22 Nov 2022

academic essay writing help
<a href=https://bestessaysden.com>help essays</a>
i need help to write an essay

AshlenKlmr , 23 Nov 2022

essay writing on customer service
<a href=https://bestsessays.org>custom essays service</a>
academic essay writing service

CharitaKlmr , 24 Nov 2022

service essays
<a href=https://buyacademicessay.com>buy custom essays online</a>
help in writing essay

NaniceKlmr , 26 Nov 2022

data analysis coursework
<a href=https://brainycoursework.com>coursework history</a>
creative writing coursework ideas

InessaKlmr , 2 days ago

Leave a comment


Collaborative partners

This blog is supported by the Arts and Culture section of the Spanish Embassy in Belgium and by the Brussels section of the “Instituto Cervantes”, under the SciComm initiative #SPreadScience.

Instituto Cervantes Arts and Culture section of the Spanish Embassy

Disclaimer: The content of each post in “A Spoonful Of Science” is the responsibility of the corresponding author(s). Therefore, the viewpoints expressed on the blog are those of the author(s) of each post, which do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints, thoughts and opinions of CEBE members and representatives.

Would you like to send us a question?

“Do you have a burning question that you would like a scientist to answer? Or a topic you would like to learn about? Send it to us!”

Categories

Science Chronicles (19 Blogs)
CEBE answers (13 Blogs)
Gender equality in science (7 Blogs)
Winners "Your research in one image or 1000 words" - 1st Edition (7 Blogs)
Webinars (5 Blogs)
CEBE's online events (1 Blogs)