Meta has warned it could shut down Facebook and Instagram in Europe

There was an important sentence hidden inside of Meta’s annual disclosures to the US Security and Exchange Commission.

Like every other public company, the entity once called Facebook is required to list possible threats to its business, which can range from the likely and mild to the impossible but drastic.

Arriving in the dry, legalistic language that marks out such reports the suggestion was there: that Facebook and Instagram could not be around for much longer, if only in Europe.

“We are also subject to evolving laws and regulations that dictate whether, how, and under what circumstances we can transfer, process and/or receive certain data that is critical to our operations, including data shared between countries or regions in which we operate and data shared among our products and services,” the paragraph began, before going on to lay out the fact that the Privacy Shield framework that had been used to transfer data between Europe and the US has since been declared invalid.