The company says it’s improving the way it handles your privacy—but with its business model centered on personal data gorges, don’t expect a total U-turn.
Backstory: Every Facebook user, except those in America and Canada, signs up to terms of service agreed with the firm’s HQ in Ireland. That makes every one of them eligible for increased protection under the EU’s new GDPR data rules.
The news: Reuters says Facebook will change that, so only European users are eligible. Users elsewhere would then be governed by (weaker) US privacy laws.
Facebook says: It will extend new privacy measures to comply with the EU rules “to everyone, no matter where you live”—first in Europe and then in the rest of the world.
But: Changing terms-of-service regions would give Facebook room to handle data differently for 1.5 billion users. Non-EU users would have reduced legal recourse.
Plus: Sandy Parakilas, an ex-Facebook staffer who warned the firm about privacy issues, tells Wired that the company’s new privacy setting pages, supposedly offered to comply with EU rules, actually “manipulate you into doing the thing they want.” Which is handing over data.
Bottom line: Facebook depends on data. It won’t be rolling over to give it all up.