In response to numerous complaints from EU-based users who were unable to access Instagram’s Threads app through VPN, Meta has confirmed that it is actively blocking such attempts.
The company recently launched Threads, a social app that raised privacy concerns, and decided not to make it available in the EU.
In a statement provided to SurgeZirc SA, Meta acknowledged the situation and stated that additional measures have been implemented to prevent users in Europe from accessing the app.
“Threads is currently unavailable in most European countries, and we have taken additional steps to restrict access to users based in these regions.”
“Europe remains an important market for Meta, and we hope to make Threads available here in the future,” Meta’s statement read.
Today, several EU-based users took to Twitter to share screenshots indicating their inability to access the Threads app, even when using VPN.
The app may collect various personal information, including highly sensitive data like health and financial information, precise location, browsing history, contacts, and search history.This data collection approach poses legal and regulatory challenges for Meta in the EU.
Under EU data protection law, Meta must have a valid legal basis for processing such personal data for targeted advertising, an area where the company is facing increasing uncertainty due to a recent ruling by the Court of Justice.
Furthermore, the Digital Markets Act, the EU’s new ex-ante antitrust regime, imposes limitations on how dominant platforms can combine data for advertising purposes.
Meta has cited uncertainty regarding the application of the Digital Markets Act to its data practices as one of the reasons for the delay in launching Threads in the EU.
Despite its limited availability, Meta’s Twitter rival, Threads, has gained significant traction with over 100 million signups in just a few days.
However, according to analytics monitoring firm Sensor Tower, daily active users have decreased by 20% this week compared to Saturday, and the time spent on the app has also declined.
It remains to be seen whether the initial buzz surrounding Threads will fade over time as the novelty of Meta’s version of Twitter wears off.
Earlier this week, Meta released an update for the Threads iOS app, introducing support for iOS 17 and reducing the app’s binary size, along with other minor improvements.
In response to user inquiries about the absence of web or desktop support, engineer Cameron Roth explained that enabling such features is not a straightforward task and involves more complexities than simply “turning it on.”
Full Story Source: Meta Confirms Blocking Access To Threads For EU Users Using VPN