Call their bluff

Facebook threatens to pull out of Europe if it isn’t permit to continue ignoring European data protection and privacy laws:

Facebook has threatened to pack up its toys and go home if European regulators don’t back down and let the social network get its own way.

In a court filing in Dublin, Facebook said that a decision by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) would force the company to pull up stakes and leave the 410 million people who use Facebook and photo-sharing service Instagram in the lurch.

If the decision is upheld, “it is not clear to [Facebook] how, in those circumstances, it could continue to provide the Facebook and Instagram services in the EU,” Yvonne Cunnane, who is Facebook Ireland’s head of data protection and associate general counsel, wrote in a sworn affidavit.

The decision Facebook’s referring to is a preliminary order handed down last month to stop the transfer of data about European customers to servers in the U.S., over concerns about U.S. government surveillance of the data.

I’m not exactly what you would call a fan of the European Union, but I would love to see the following sequence:

  1. Call their bluff.
  2. Watch them back down.
  3. Prosecute them for their past violations of GDPR.
  4. Prosecute them for their ongoing violations of GDPR.
Someone has to rein in the lawless Tech Cartel, and to date, neither the Trump administration nor anyone outside the Chinese government has demonstrated the courage required to do so.