Ethical Tech

Facebook’s CEO says the firm will use the laws as a form of spiritual guidance outside of Europe.

Backstory: The EU has a strict new General Data Protection Regulation going into effect next month, which includes bold policies on transparency, consent, and data handling. Facebook will be forced to comply with the rules inside Europe. Some people think similar rules should be used in America.

The news:  Speaking to Reuters, Mark Zuckerberg said that his company will use some parts of those rules to create new, worldwide data policies. He added that he’s “still nailing down details on this,” but “it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing.”

Why it matters: Talk of a “directional spirit” probably won’t do all that much to appease critics, including lawmakers, who are calling for firmer regulation in the wake of Facebook’s huge data scandal—the fallout from which is already bringing about a flurry of lawsuits.

What Zuck’s really thinking: It’s actually far from clear what kinds of rules should be applied to Facebook and its data handling. The EU’s are strict and formal, but Zuck has already said that “guidelines are much better than dictating specific processes.” No kidding, Mark.