Meta’s new social networking app and Twitter rival, Threads, will not be launched in the EU “at this point,” according to a spokesperson from Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC).
The DPC has not blocked Threads from EU app stores. Instead, Meta is postponing its launch of the platform in the bloc to avoid getting into trouble with regualtors.
The new Threads platform will pull sensitive data from Instagram, including behavioural and advertising information, which risks breaching EU privacy laws.
Meta has repeatedly clashed with EU regulators over the way it handles user data. Most recently, it was slapped with a record-breaking €1.2bn fine for breaching the GDPR. The majority have been delivered by the DPC in Ireland, where Meta has its European headquarters. The regulator dished out four fines to the tech giant in 2022 alone.
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While the EU lawmakers may have scared off Meta for now, it’s uncertain at this time whether the tech giant will rejig its policy to comply with the bloc’s strict data laws. Whether Threads will come to the EU anytime soon is anyone’s guess, but a spokesperson for Meta told Bloomberg that it was preparing to roll out the new app in over 100 countries.
Threads, which has been designed to take on Meta’s rival Twitter, is expected to go live on app stores in the US and the UK on Thursday.
The debut of Threads comes during a week of sweeping changes at Twitter. Owner Elon Musk announced that users of the platform would be limited to viewing just 600 tweets a day, to fight what he called “extreme levels of data scraping.”
Twitter also announced that TweetDeck, which is used by millions of companies to manage and track different feeds, will become limited to paid subscribers only.