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Facebook To Put 1.5 Billion Users Out of Reach of New EU Privacy Law (reuters.com) 95

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Facebook: If a new European law restricting what companies can do with people's online data went into effect tomorrow, almost 1.9 billion Facebook users around the world would be protected by it. The online social network is making changes that ensure the number will be much smaller. Facebook members outside the United States and Canada, whether they know it or not, are currently governed by terms of service agreed with the company's international headquarters in Ireland. Next month, Facebook is planning to make that the case for only European users, meaning 1.5 billion members in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America will not fall under the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect on May 25. That removes a huge potential liability for Facebook, as the new EU law allows for fines of up to 4 percent of global annual revenue for infractions, which in Facebook's case could mean billions of dollars.
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Facebook To Put 1.5 Billion Users Out of Reach of New EU Privacy Law

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  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @09:08AM (#56463563)
    Zuckerberg's apology tour was short-lived, back to usual business.
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Most likely, but it may also lead to more serious implications here where Facebook can be blocked from the EU unless they conform to the EU regulations for EU citizens.

      • Most likely, but it may also lead to more serious implications here where Facebook can be blocked from the EU unless they conform to the EU regulations for EU citizens.

        I think I'd call that a win for the EU if Facebook ended up being blocked.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        That was the intend of the law. Side effect is that other businesses are affected also. More info on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] and https://www.eugdpr.org/ [eugdpr.org]

        The idea was to protect EU people. This is a law for the people, by the people. (Yes, I wen there)

        • This is a law for the people, by the people.

          Harumph. Sounds like the exact sort of socialist nonsense that American soldiers fought against and died to prevent.

      • They won't block it, they'll just fine the ever-loving shit out of it.

    • Yup. What slimeballs. I knew the hearing was just for show. Pretty pathetic, and pretty clear that they know themselves they don't have the fattest chance in hell of creating a legitimate business model. The dubious utility of Facebook becomes crystal clear when a price tag is attached, it isn't worth a user paying for.

      All that has to happen is for a few other big countries to adopt measures similar to the EU, and they are Zucked. Can't happen soon enough.

    • He never apologised that Facebook collected data, only that a third party used it inappropriately.

      • There is nothing to apologize for. If newspapers assert the right [nytimes.com] — both legal and ethical — to publish state secrets they obtain as a result of somebody's felony [findlaw.com], and the courts agree [theatlantic.com], how can Facebook (or anyone else) be denied the right to or even reprimanded for publishing personal information given to it willingly?

        • by radja ( 58949 )

          state secrets are not a human right.

          • by mi ( 197448 )

            state secrets are not a human right.

            Nothing in this topic is about "human rights". Irrelevant much?

            • by flink ( 18449 )

              Human right to free speech trumps state's desire to keep secrets.

              Human right to privacy trumps Facebook's desire to build psychological dossiers of everyone on the planet.

              • by mi ( 197448 )

                Human right to free speech [...]

                But not CNN's right to talk about prostitutes peeing on Trump [newsbusters.org]?..

                You can't pick and choose. The links I cited claim [theatlantic.com], that the First Amendment protects everybody's right to publish whatever they feel like publishing. To wit:

                The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments

                The only possible exception to the above are things, one explicitly promised (such by signing an NDA, or giving an oath) not to publish... Which F

                • Because you're applying US constitutional law to EU laws? EU has a right to privacy/right to forget that is not necessarily popular or maybe even possible in the US. That said, corporations don't have the exact same set of rights as a human being does either.
                  • by mi ( 197448 )

                    Because you're applying US constitutional law to EU laws?

                    You referred to human rights — the kind, all human being posses regardless of where they live. Right to privacy is not among them. Nor is the Freedom of Speech, actually, but modern societies all pretend to support it...

                    That said, corporations don't have the exact same set of rights as a human being does either.

                    That is subject [nationalaffairs.com] to quite a bit of a debate [npr.org], actually.

                    But we don't have to engage in it, because CNN, National Inquirer, New York Times,

        • States shouldn't have secrets from their citizens.

        • Whistle-blowers are afforded protection under the law (at least in theory) as an exception. The idea is that a whistle-blower has the public interest at heart and is acting, not out of self-interest, but for the common good.

          Furthermore, doxing private citizens isn't whistle-blowing and neither is collecting surveillance profiles on 1.9 billion people. J Edgar Hoover collected surveillance profiles on his friends (if you can call them that) and adversaries alike. I think you'll have a pretty hard time convin

          • by mi ( 197448 )

            Whistle-blowers are afforded protection under the law (at least in theory) as an exception.

            Bradley Manning, for one, was not a "whistle blower". He just wanted to impress a boyfriend [nymag.com].

            • Whistle-blowers are afforded protection under the law (at least in theory) as an exception.

              Bradley Manning, for one, was not a "whistle blower". He just wanted to impress a boyfriend [nymag.com].

              Are you arguing that publicly reporting war crimes, e.g. targeting civilians, shouldn't come under whistle-blower protections based on unsupported allegations from a magazine?

        • by dave420 ( 699308 )

          The press has legal protections social media companies do not. And whataboutery is not a defense.

  • by williamyf ( 227051 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @09:09AM (#56463565)

    Facebook already stated that they will afford the same EU type level of protection for ALL the user base.

    This change just aford them two things:
    1.) Protection if by mistake they screw up and end up in a non-compliance event with EU directives (say, human error, security breach, inside attack). So, instead of all of the users suing, unly those in the EU suing.

    2.) In case they have a change of heart and decide to not afford those protections any more, Is easier if the non-EU users are also outside EU jusrisdiction.

     

    • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @09:12AM (#56463585) Homepage

      Their problem with selective enforcement will be knowing that I'm not a European living somewhere else. One slip-up and... lawsuit!

      Hopefully the USA and other countries will soon have similar laws, making this moot.

      Facebook, et. al. are scum. The world needs this law. Are 'targeted ads' really enough of an excuse for what they do, ie. Are they really that much more valuable? I doubt it. Advertiser will still pay for ads.

      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @09:21AM (#56463639) Homepage

        Targeted ads are useless anyway. People encountering them gets the ads after they already have bought an item of that type.

        • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @09:48AM (#56463721)

          Targeted ads CAN be sensible if they're for the general type of item. When I buy a new CPU, showing me ads for graphic cards rather than running shoes is sensible.

          Ok, that I have adblockers and keep tuning them to the point where no ads get shown render both moot but ... shhhh, keep the ad industry thinking it is relevant, so it keeps funding the pages we like!

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            When I buy a new CPU, showing me ads for graphic cards rather than running shoes is sensible.

            Remember the 90s when "targeted" meant that they displayed graphic card ads on sites related to computer stuff? And running shoes on Yahoo! Sports?

            I'm fine if the targeting is not at individuals but at the topic of the site they are browsing.

        • Targeted ads are useless anyway. People encountering them gets the ads after they already have bought an item of that type.

          They might be effective if they can show you them while you're searching for an item (or researching it).

          Facebook can't do that though. That's where google comes into the picture.

          (and Google doesn't need to profile you in order to include relevant ads in searches - they have the search query!)

      • Are they really that much more valuable?

        Once targeted ads started becoming a thing I noticed a precipitous drop off for ads for singles in my area and feminine hygiene products. So I consider it a plus.

        Spend some time shopping for things which are visually appealing. Then at least the websites you visit might display to you visually appealing items.

        • by Muros ( 1167213 )

          Once targeted ads started becoming a thing I noticed a precipitous drop off for ads for singles in my area and feminine hygiene products. So I consider it a plus.

          Yeah, I usually get ads for backup solutions, CRM packages, etc. now. Definitely better than having half naked people following you around the internet all the time.

      • by Baki ( 72515 )

        All ads are subjective information at best, mostly pure lies, paid for by the buyers of any product that advertises. It is a horrible and immoral tax, wasting our time and money, in exchange for higher product prices (obviously, the marketing budget is paid for by the profit margins of the products).

        All companies that live from advertisements, whether targeted or not, are "scum" in my book.

        Everyone should avoid companies & brands that advertise more than average.

        Non-profit consumer organizations should

      • I just posted this down-thread, but its worth posting here as well - the "Territorial scope" is based on the physical location of the "data subject", not your status as an EU citizen.

        If you are an EU citizen living in the US, you fall outside the scope of the GDPR regardless of where your data resides.

        https://gdpr-info.eu/art-3-gdp... [gdpr-info.eu]

    • Facebook already stated that they will afford the same EU type level of protection for ALL the user base.

      "Why should I be interested in (or care about) the silly things that I said yesterday?" -- Konrad Adenauer, Former German Chancellor

      Facebook lies like a rug.

      We're not reading Zuckerberg's lips . . . we're reading his mind.

    • BULL

      SHIT

      If they wanted to do this, they'd simply leave the data where it is.

      Please don't spit on my cake and call it frosting.

    • I hope they will afford to pay taxes if they are no longer an Irish company.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      So, instead of all of the users suing, unly those in the EU suing.

      Actually it wouldn't be up to individual users to sue Facebook. That's the great thing about it, the option is there to sue individually but there are also national watchdogs who will step in when it affects a lot of people, and for multinationals there can be an EU level investigation.

      If the EU decides to take an interest they could be hit with those 4% fines. 4% of revenue, not profit.

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      "Facebook already stated that they will afford the same EU type level of protection for ALL the user base."

      They also said that they wouldn't.

      I guess we just have to decide which of their contradictory claims is most likely. Based on this move, I know where I'd hedge my bet.

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 )

      2.) When they proceed as planned and and walk back those lipservice promises of protections made to get Congress off their back, it's easier if the non-EU users are already outside EU jusrisdiction.

      FTFY

  • by ebonum ( 830686 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @09:40AM (#56463691)

    "fines of up to 4 percent of global annual revenue for infractions"
    Revenue = 12.97B
    4% = 518 million

    https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

    • Now let's ponder what counts as an "infraction". If every single EU citizen wronged that way is one, this could get VERY expensive VERY soon.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Remember that it apples to EU citizens. Not all EU citizens reside in the EU. Facebook will still, as I understand it, face liability for collecting the data of EU citizens residing outside the EU as long as they do any business in the EU. This will be interesting to watch being played out.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Too all good things must end. Eventually even good things become corrupt and Facebook is no exception. I deleted my account and it probably should have never created a profile to begin with.

  • Seems a bit too much of having their cake and eating it too, if they can say their are an Irish company for the tax breaks but not an Irish company for the data ownership.

  • I'm an American (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @10:40AM (#56464069)
    so they get to pay Irish tax rates, I ought to get Irish privacy. I ought to, but looks like I don't.

    I do like how the EU does fines. A percentage of gross revenue. Here in the states we do dollar amounts, which tends to make them less than the profit from the crime.
    • Facebook (US) is incorporated in Delaware - the office of which might be big enough for one person to sit in a closet to answer a phone.

  • I'm assuming that when this change takes place, affected users will be presented with a new ToS to agree with. How does this affect those who do NOT agree with the new ToS?

    I get that they will not be able to continue using the "service", but their old data must still be protected when the GDPR goes into effect, right?

    Seems like this is the perfect opportunity for those in affected areas, who were on the fence about deleting their facebook account, to KEEP the protections that will be offered by the GDPR, a

  • Also how about we find a reason to put Zuckerberg in jail?

    Come on people haven't you all had enough? There's the phone, and email to keep in contact with people you actually care about. Isn't it time you left Facebook for good?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    EU-GDPR doesn't work that way. Data privacy and protection is a human right according to the EU. Hence it also applies to anyone just traveling through the EU, all the actions taken while the subject is in the EU fall under the EU-GDPR even if they are not a EU citizen. That is the same as all the other human rights in the EU (and basically anywhere). They apply to "humans" in that area, and not only citizens.

    Source: Rushing to be compliant.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I would have thought that the intent of the law was to cover EU citizens, no matter where they lived on this planet and not as Facebook intends to argue, where they physically live.

  • Zuck will never remove your data. Doesn't matter what regulation gets handed down
  • Wow. I would like a look at the sports section of that news service so I can place my bets more intelligently.

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