Facebook changing privacy of 1.5 billion users to U.S. terms

Written about 2 years ago by IanDorfman

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation is designed to better safeguard the data of individuals, and companies are bound to abide by it for citizens of the EU. As reported by Engadget and Reuters, nearly 1.5 billion Facebook users in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America are bound to terms of service based out of the social network's Ireland headquarters.

As these headquarters, and all of the data inside of them, must abide by GDPR's data privacy rules, Small Facebook iconFacebook will be migrating these accounts to be bound by the terms of service of the United States' headquarters instead. This move will allow Facebook to avoid any potential fines of 4% of its total global revenue (or 20 million Euros, whichever is higher) due to the mishandling of data in accordance to the GDPR legislation.

Despite this mass migration of users to the U.S.-based terms of service, Facebook insists that it will "apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether [a user's] agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland."

Another social network service that is following this practice in order to avoid the potential for fines due to GDPR-breaking privacy violations is Microsoft's Small LinkedIn iconLinkedIn network for business-centric users. Currently, non-U.S. users have their terms of service agreements routed through the network's Ireland offices. Following GDPR's enactment, these users and their agreements will be routed through the network's United States offices instead.