Currently, Facebook is facing a plethora of charges and changes to how it deals with Europeans information. Several other US corporations including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are also being investigated by different courts in Europe.
Facebook’s European vice president of public policy Richard Allen wrote an opinion piece for The Financial Times on the growing trend for regulators from individual countries to audit the social network, and how if this continues Facebook may need to fragment its service in those countries.
“For internet companies…national regulation would pose serious obstacles. Facebook’s costs would increase, and people in Europe would notice new features arriving more slowly, or not at all,” said Allen. “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. BMW, Jaguar and Renault might not be the international success stories that they are.”
This is another threat by Facebook that if regulation continues to surge in separate countries, it may look to punish the citizens within these countries for overzealous government behaviour.
Facebook faces major issues in the next few years, if the regulators inside Germany, Spain, France, The Netherlands and Belgium move to press charges or have certain features revoked. The US-EU safe harbour agreement may force Facebook to set up data centers in individual countries, and may force Facebook to keep Europeans information away from America.
Even though we highly doubt Facebook will pull out of a market, considering it has fought long and hard for the ability to work in China and has no issues working in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran, we might see some features removed to pressure Europe.