Facebook.com is kicking off new and stronger privacy protections to users prior to the introduction of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation. However, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, does not promise that all American users will benefit from the future changes.
Last week, Facebook announced the preliminary bunch of changes, which will be available worldwide. In spite of that, Zuckerberg did not commit to GDPR, effectively refusing to make it the standard for the social network across the globe.
In a statement, Zuckerberg said that Facebook was working on a version of the data protection law that would work globally. It would bring some European privacy protections worldwide. However, Zuckerberg did not disclose which part of the European law he would not impose worldwide.
“We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” Zuckerberg said, refusing to elaborate.
This implies that some users may find themselves in weaker privacy protections than European users.
Privacy advocacy groups have been pushing Facebook and other Silicon Valley rivals, like Alphabet Inc’s Google, to follow EU data laws globally, but met with no success.
“We want Facebook and Google and all other companies to immediately adopt in the United States and worldwide any new protections that they implement in Europe,” said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democary.
Even if Facebook introduced its long-awaited changes to comply with GDPR, the tech giant is also hurrying to unveil a second set of privacy tools that follow the Cambridge Analytica files. Cambridge Analytica discovered that the company did not provide any clear information as to how and why user data were shared to third parties.
The latest changes let Facebook users to remove applications from the Facebook platform in bulk quantities. Previously, the integrations with external developers caused data to be removed from Facebook’s platform. These data eventually fell into the hands of Cambridge Analytica, which is an election consultancy.
Presently, alongside the tools previously promised, Facebook lets users to clean up their privacy settings. The previous tool enabled users to deactivate an app if they haven’t used it in three months.
Zuckerberg to Testify on April 11
Zuckerberg is set to testify before the US House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11, according to the statement of the panel.
“This hearing will be an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online,” said the panel’s Republican chairman Greg Walden and top Democrat Frank Palone.
Last February, 13 Russian nationals faced lawsuits for using the website, as well as other social media sites, to meddle with the US presidential election in 2016. American spy agencies had cautioned that Russia would attempt again to meddle with the 2018 midterm elections, using social media to proliferate propaganda.
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