European internet users can no longer access Meta’s Twitter clone Threads through a VPN. While Threads is not available in the EU, bypassing this restriction using a VPN was possible. However, Meta has now blocked access for European VPN users as well. A spokesperson stated, “Threads is currently not available in most European countries, and we have taken further measures to prevent people from those countries from accessing Threads,” according to social media consultant Matt Navarra.
Several European Threads users reported today that they could not access the service even with a VPN. The Threads app collects a wide range of user data, including health information, financial data, location data, visited websites, contacts, and search history. In the EU, Meta must have a legitimate interest in processing personal data for targeted advertising purposes. Privacy experts suggest that this is why Threads is not yet available in the EU.
“We should be concerned about the amount of data that Meta can possess about individuals,” says Calli Schroeder from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (Epic), as reported by The Guardian. “Not only is this a significant risk for data breaches, and Meta has already been fined for several major data breaches in the past, but the data can also be used to derive more information about a person than they voluntarily wish to share.”