According to the new terms of service that have been introduced by Facebook, it is being estimated that about 1.5 billion members of the social media platform would not be covered by the tough new privacy protections that are slated to be introduced in Europe.
The company has been facing a barrage of questions with relation to its handling of personal data from lawmakers and regulators all around the world.
Identification of the members to be regulated through its European headquarters in Ireland is the essence of the change.
It planned clearer privacy rules worldwide, Facebook said.
News agency Reuters reported that Facebook Inc would govern the members who are outside of the purview of the EU while those within would be governed by the company regulations of Facebook Ireland.
This is being seen as a way for the company to avoid implementing the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for its members outside of the EU.
Over 70% of the more than two billion members of the social media platform would be impacted by this change. There were 370 million Facebook users in Europe and about 239 million users in the US and Canada as of December 2017.
The users who would be affected by the change are the 1,5 billion users of the social media platform in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America.
European rules have never been applied for Facebook users in the US and Canada.
“The GDPR and EU consumer law set out specific rules for terms and data policies which we have incorporated for EU users. We have been clear that we are offering everyone who uses Facebook the same privacy protections, controls and settings, no matter where they live,” said Stephen Deadman, deputy chief global privacy officer at Facebook.
Such moves were “an easy way out” for tech firms, said Sylvia Kingsmill, a digital privacy expert at consultancy KPMG,
“I think that the public expectation is that their data, which they freely give up to corporate giants, is protected and I think this kind of move will catch up with the firms that make it.”
Similar controls that are expected to be delivered as the GDPR by the new privacy regulations that are being prepared by regulators and lawmakers in the US and Canada,
The low corporate tax rates in Ireland prompted Facebook to shift headquarters there in 2008 which also meant that all its users outside of the U.S and Canada are governed by the EU regulations.
And now the change implies that no user outside of Europe would be able to file any complaint against Facebook with Irish courts or with the Irish data protection commissioner.
The people within the Eu would be offered a much greater control over their personal data because of the GDPR which is slated to come into force next month. the new EU rules also means that tech companies could be fined up to 4% of their annual global revenue if there is any data breach.
(Adapted from BBC.com)