Facebook will exclude 1.5 billion users from GDPR privacy protections

  • Europe’s GDPR privacy regulations will go into effect May 25th.
  • Facebook showed how the social media service plans to comply with the new regulations.
  • While people expected Facebook would extend the consumer protections to users outside of Europe, Facebook stated it would exclude over 1.5 billion users from the privacy protections.

If a GDPR law that seeks to restrict what companies can do with people’s personal information goes into effect tomorrow, more than 1.9 billion Facebook users would be protected by it. However, Facebook is taking steps to ensure the number is much smaller.

Facebook members who are outside the United States and Canada fall under the terms of service set by Facebook’s international HQ in Ireland. Once the European law goes into effect, Facebook will not include 1.5 billion members from Africa, Australia, Asia and Latin America under the same GDPR privacy protection. Engadget reports the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation will go into effect from May 25.

Facebook Privacy
Image Courtesy of 9to5 Google

The move was previously unreported was confirmed today by Facebook. The company is inclined towards reducing the exposure to GDPR which can fine companies for usage or collection of personal data without explicit consent from users. The move by Facebook reduces the social media company’s liabilities as the fines by the GDPR can go up to 4% of the global annual revenue if held guilty of infractions. In Facebook’s case, it could go up to billions of dollars.

This change was made while Facebook is under heat from lawmakers across the world due to the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. The change affects roughly 70% of the 2.2 billion members on Facebook. Like many other technology companies based in the United States, Facebook established an Irish subsidiary to take advantage of low corporate taxes. The Irish Facebook unit is subject to the regulations that are being applied by the GDPR.

In a recent statement, Facebook downplayed the importance of the change in their terms of service. The company claimed they have plans to make the privacy controls consistent between Europe and the rest of the world. They want to apply the same privacy protections everywhere regardless of whether a region is part of Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland.


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