Facebook announced that it will meet the legal requirements of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in late May. The good news? The resulting privacy improvements will impact all of Facebook’s users worldwide.
“We not only want to comply with the law, but also go beyond our obligations to build new and improved privacy experiences for everyone on Facebook,” Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan writes in a post describing the firm’s plans. “Everyone—no matter where they live—will be asked to review important information about how Facebook uses data and make choices about their privacy on Facebook.”
As part of its GDPR-required changes, Facebook will ask users to make choices about ads based on data from its partners, information in their profile, whether to allow facial recognition, and to agree to an updated terms of service and data policy.
“We’re not asking for new rights to collect, use or share your data on Facebook, and we continue to commit that we do not sell information about you to advertisers or other partners,” Egan explains. “While the substance of our data policy is the same globally, people in the EU will see specific details relevant only to people who live there, like how to contact our Data Protection Officer under GDPR. We want to be clear that there is nothing different about the controls and protections we offer around the world.”
In addition, Facebook had previously announced a new set of Settings and Privacy Shortcuts features that were also designed with GDPR in mind. These features will help users worldwide to see their Facebook data, delete it, and easily download and export it. I wrote about this experience recently in Dealing with Facebook (Premium).
“We’re committed to making sure people understand how we use their information and how they can control it,” Egan concluded. “We’ll keep improving.”
These changes will start rolling out, first in Europe, this week, Facebook says. That is ahead of the May 25 deadline for GDPR compliance.
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