Almost 1.9 billion Facebook users globally were set to be protected by an all-new and all-encompassing EU privacy law. That’s the new Euro law restricting what companies do with people’s data goes into immediate effect tomorrow. Facebook however is doing everything it can to make that number of users much fewer.
Facebook users outside US are governed by terms of service agreed with the company’s international headquarters (in Ireland).
Facebook is now planning to make the case for ONLY European users, meaning 1.5 billion people in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America will not fall under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect on May 25 (following successful closure).
Facebook is highly focused on reducing its exposure to GDPR, which allows European regulators to fine companies for collecting or using personal data without the user’s consent.
This removes a large potential liability issue for Facebook, as the new EU 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.
The change comes as Facebook is under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers around the world since disclosing last month that the personal information of millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, setting off wider concerns about how it handles user data.
The change is set to have an effect on over 70 percent of Facebook’s 2 billion-plus members. As of December 2017, Facebook had 239 million users in the US and Canada, 370 million in Europe and 1.52 billion users elsewhere.
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