In the dynamic landscape of social networks, Threads, the new service from Meta (formerly Facebook) supposed to rival Twitter, is already creating a lot of noise. However, new information could temper the enthusiasm: this service is not ready to be launched in Europe.
Threads, Meta’s next application will play in Twitter’s court. Indeed, Meta’s new social media platform aims to appeal to users disappointed by recent changes to Twitter, which became Elon Musk’s playground after a $40 billion acquisition.
Threads, with its promise of text-based discussions centered on communities of shared ideas and common passions, looks set to capture a share of this volatile market. The launch is scheduled for July 6.
However, new information has come to cast a cloud of uncertainty over Threads’ launch plans. According to an article by The Independent, an Irish media, it seems that the launch of Threads in Europe could be delayed or even cancelled. The reason ? The Threads Data Collection Policy.
The European Union scares Meta
On the Threads app, a huge range of data would be collected from users, including health data, financial information, browsing history, location, purchases, contacts, search history and even information deemed sensitive.
This prospect is cause for concern, especially in view of the strict data protection rules in force in the European Union.
This is what probably explains why Threads will not be launched in Europe this week. The information has been confirmed by the Data Protection Commission (DPC), the Irish data protection regulator. She is responsible for overseeing compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Ireland, and by extension, for all technology companies that have their European headquarters there, such as Meta, formerly Facebook.
According to information reported by The Independent, the DPC did not actively block the launch of Threads, Meta’s new social network, in Europe. Neverthelessit would appear that Meta has not yet prepared Threads for a launch compliant with European Union data protection regulations and GDPR in particular.
It’s unclear if or when Threads will be available in the EU
At this time, it’s unclear if or when Threads will be available in the EU. However, it looks like Meta just hasn’t prepared the service for a European launch yet. Notably outside the UK which, following Brexit, is no longer fully subject to EU GDPR and privacy rules.
In this context, the future of Threads in Europe is still uncertain. European users will have to wait to see if this new social media platform will live up to their privacy and data protection expectations. But one thing is certain: privacy and data protection issues will continue to play a key role in the evolving social media landscape.
Twitter is already in the sights of the European Union
In the same register, Twitter, the platform that Threads aims to compete with, is already in the sights of the European Union. How Twitter handles user data, and especially its moderation, is a recurring concern for European regulators.
The European Union deplores the social network’s decision to leave the Union’s voluntary code of best practice against online disinformation.
This situation is reminiscent of that of Google Bard, the AI chatbot from the Mountain View firm. Google has also decided to delay its launch in Europe, in the face of the challenges posed by compliance with the GDPR.
The Watt Else newsletter is THE unmissable event dedicated to the mobility of the future. Register here!