Facebook Won't Adopt EU Data Privacy Law Worldwide, Says CEO

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Facebook's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mark Zuckerberg, does not currently plan to implement the European Union's new data privacy law changes across the social networking site's global ecosystem. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is set to take effect on May 25, aims to protect the data privacy of all European citizens by regulating the transfer of personal data outside the EU region.

While Facebook does not commit to applying the GDPR per se worldwide, Mr. Zuckerberg said in an interview with Reuters that Facebook has been developing a bespoke privacy policy based on the law that will introduce some of its privacy rules across the world. The Facebook chief, however, fell short of providing exact details about what specific portions of GDPR will be applied globally. The growing pressure on Facebook to beef up its data privacy practices comes as the social media giant is currently embroiled in a data privacy fiasco after it was found out last month that Cambridge Analytica, a British data analytics and political consulting firm, harvested the information of 50 million Facebook users and exploited the data in a bid to influence the results of the 2016 elections in the United States. Cambridge Analytica helped Donald Trump win U.S. elections two years ago, for those of you who are out of the loop.

The data misuse prompted several countries to turn their attention to Facebook's data privacy practices and its role in the political arena, noting how the platform could be used to influence election results in particular. In March, Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, announced that EU lawmakers will be launching a full investigation into the alleged abuse of Facebook's user data, saying that the abuse is an "unacceptable violation" of the right to privacy of millions of Facebook users. Although Mr. Zuckerberg maintains that his company won't be implementing the new European data privacy law worldwide, he acknowledges that some of its privacy guarantees are already being adopted by the social networking site to help protect the personal data of Facebook's more than 2 billion users globally. Nevertheless, his comments suggest some serious privacy implications for Facebook users outside of EU including the U.S., where the Federal Trade Commission is also currently investigating the social media platform.

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