Facebook to put 1.5 bn users out of new EU law's reach

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	Brian Heater

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This move made by Oculus intends to comply with the European Union's data collection terms which have been made a funding basis to the upcoming General Protection Regulation. But the social network is trying to introduce changes that will make this figure less, according to Reuters.

Currently, Facebook has two corporate headquarters: one in California, where it is based, and an worldwide one in Dublin, Ireland - where it receives preferential tax treatment. Facebook now says that if "you are a resident of or have your principal place of business in the United States or Canada", the ToS are an agreement between you and Facebook Inc which is based in the USA, otherwise, it is an agreement with Facebook Ireland Limited.

If tomorrow the law of the European Union, which does not allow companies to collect data about people online without their consent, will enter into force, nearly 1.9 billion users of Facebook around the world will come under his protection.

The new law limits how much tech companies can collect and use your data and also requires a greater level of transparency for users.

Facebook, like many other USA technology companies, established an Irish subsidiary in 2008 and took advantage of the country's low corporate tax rates, routing through it revenue from some advertisers outside North America.

When asked the same question a few weeks later by lawmakers in the US Congress, Zuckerberg appeared to say that Facebook would extend GDPR to all users but commentators noticed that he used the terms "controls" rather than "protections".

"We apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc. or Facebook Ireland", the company told Reuters.

That said, Facebook does have part of a legitimate argument in shifting non-Europeans away from its European terms of service since the GDPR will require some changes that won't make sense outside the continent: such as the concept of a Data Protection Officer, or new requirements on moving data outside Europe. In practice, the change means the 1.5 billion affected users will not be able to file complaints with Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner or in Irish courts. Soon, all non-European users will be governed by more lenient, uniform policies employed in the US and Canada.

Facebook will have more leeway in how it handles data about those users, Veale said.

"While the substance of our data policy is the same globally, people in the European Union will see specific details relevant only to people who live there, like how to contact our Data Protection Officer under GDPR". "The GDPR and European Union consumer law set out specific rules for terms and data policies which we have incorporated for European Union users". One Irish official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he did not know of any plans by Facebook to transfer responsibilities wholesale to the U.S. or to decrease Facebook's presence in Ireland, where the social network is seeking to recruit more than 100 new staff. Facebook released a revised terms of service in draft form two weeks ago, and they are scheduled to take effect next month.

The company claims that despite these specific changes they will treat all their users around the globe the same. New terms that take effect May 8 move non-Europeans to contracts with US -based LinkedIn Corp. But it is hard to tally that approach with the weasel words it continue to use about protecting its users' privacy. "We've simply streamlined the contract location to ensure all members understand the LinkedIn entity responsible for their personal data", the company said.