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m3n4.net December 17, 2018


Facebook to move users outside Europe ahead of new data regulations

20 April 2018, 01:03 | Antoinette Holland

Facebook to move users outside Europe ahead of new data regulations

Tough questions Oireachtas should ask Facebook about use of citizens’ data

While Facebook users outside the United States and Canada are now protected by terms of service with the company's global headquarters in Ireland, Facebook has confirmed it will change that.

The GDPR gives consumers increased control over personal data collection.

That removes a huge potential liability for Facebook, as the new European Union law allows for fines of up to 4 percent of global annual revenue for infractions, which in Facebook's case could mean billions of dollars. As of December, Facebook had 239 million users in the United States and Canada, 370 million in Europe and 1.52 billion users elsewhere.

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When Facebook set up its worldwide headquarters in Ireland in 2008 to take advantage of low corporate tax rates, users outside the U.S. and Canada came under the protection of European regulators. Meanwhile, of the remainder who said they'd be willing to pay for ad-free Facebook, 41.6% said they'd only pay between $1 and $5, while 25% said they'd pay between $6 and $10. Violating the new rules will result in fines, and other US tech companies are making changes to prepare to comply with GDPR.

"We will also ask people to agree to our updated terms of service and data policy, which include more detail in response to questions about how our services work", said Erin Egan, VP and chief privacy officer, Policy and Ashlie Beringer, VP and deputy general counsel.

The GDPR, approved by European lawmakers in 2016, will require companies to ask customers for permission to use their data, delete customer data when asked, inform customers about breaches in a timely manner and more.

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Facebook is set to comply with strict new privacy rules in Europe next month, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said publicly that those protections will be available around the world.

In practice, the change means the 1.5 billion affected users will not be able to file complaints with Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner or in Irish courts. Certain types of data such as browsing history, for instance, are considered personal data under European Union law but are not as protected in the United States, he said.

The executives said the company will not be asking for new rights to collect, use or share user data. Next month, the social network will change this situation, leaving under the protection of the European laws, only Europeans.

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