Monday, 10 Dec 2018

Personal data: Facebook puts 1.5 billion users outside the reach of European law

Until then endorsed by its Irish subsidiary, the responsibility for processing the information of 70% of the users of the network will be transferred to the United States, where the regulation is less restrictive.

With a lot of advertising in the press, Facebook communicates with its European users about the changes brought about by the forthcoming arrival of the Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ). This text, which will enter into force on May 25, offers citizens of the European Union greater control over the processing of their personal data and requires more transparency on the part of companies on their collection and use of these data. Offenders face significant financial penalties of up to 4% of their annual turnover. To comply, Facebook revised its terms of use and privacy policy and began deploying them this week.

Urged by questions by US parliamentarians After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, CEO Mark Zuckerberg had even touted last week the virtues of the text: “The RGPD in general is going to be a very positive step for the Internet.” Modulating his answers according to his interlocutors, he suggested that he could apply “the spirit” to all its users in the world.

Legal reasons

Yet, the social network has operated a surprising move, revealed by Reuters. Until now, when a user residing in Australia, Asia, Africa or Latin America accepted the terms of use, it was stipulated that the agreement was made with Facebook Ireland Limited. The responsibility for the processing of the information thus fell to this company. The user could in theory bring a complaint before the local regulatory authority and depend on the Irish courts. Starting next month, treatment will be the responsibility of Facebook Inc., the parent company based in Menlo, California. US data legislation is less restrictive. This transfer of responsibility concerns 1.5 billion people, or 70% of Facebook users. The social network created Facebook Ireland Limited in Dublin in 2008 to take advantage of Ireland’s favorable tax system.

Facebook justifies this move for legal and non-tax reasons. The network argues that “European law requires a specific legal terminology” that does not exist in US law. “We will apply the same protection of privacy everywhere, whether you are contractually engaged with Facebook Inc. or Facebook Ireland,” said Facebook, with a still very worked choice of employee words. Other American networks like LinkedIn are engaged in similar transfers.

IN VIDEO: The method to see all that Facebook knows about you:

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