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Meta’s Twitter rival Threads won’t initially launch in the EU

Meta’s rival to Twitter called Threads, an Instagram app is set to launch tomorrow in the US and UK, but it may not come to the rest of Europe anytime soon. A Meta spokesperson told Ireland’s Data Protection Commission that the service will not be rolled out in the EU “at this point,” Independent.ie has reported. 

Threads may not be launching in much of Europe due to more stringent data privacy requirements. The DPC is apparently not blocking the service — instead, it’s Meta that has “not yet prepared the service for a European launch outside the UK, which is not fully governed by GDPR or EU privacy rules,” according to the report.

The EU just hit Meta with a ruling that it must obtain consent from users before delivering personalized ads in the region. Prior to that, the company was fined €390 million EU (about $425 million) for not receiving consent before serving up such ads. 

On top of that, in 2021, the DPC fined WhatsApp €225 million ($266.8 million at the time) or not providing enough detail on how it shares EU users’ data with Facebook. That could pose a problem for Threads in its current state, as it automatically imports data from Instagram, including advertising and behavior information, according to the policy listed on its iOS App Store page

Threads is arriving amidst issues with Twitter like “rate limits” on tweets and degraded service for the power-user app Tweetdeck. Many of Twitter’s active users have been seeking an alternative with apps like Bluesky and Mastodon, but some see Threads as the most viable option due to Meta’s scale. That’s despite any reservations they may have about CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s track record on privacy and other issues.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/metas-twitter-rival-threads-wont-initially-launch-in-the-eu-090314803.html?src=rss

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