In the newly changed terms of service, 1.5 billion members will be unprotected under the strict rules coming to Europe.
The new policies follow a series of questions from lawmakers and regulators in the past week, concerning how the social network handles users’ information.
Facebook users outside the EU will be governed by Facebook Inc. in the US other than the company in Ireland. This automatically sees that over 70% of the users outside the EU are unprotected. This may be a move by Facebook to continuously control users’ data or better still, avoid applying the EU’s stringent rules.
In December, Facebook’s statistics showed that the social network had 239 million active users in the US and Canada, 370 million in Europe and 1.5 billion users in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Australia. This vividly explains that Facebook still has a superior power over the majority number of users.
Although Facebook claims to apply the same rules for its users regardless of their locations, users outside Europe have never been subject to the EU rules. Stephen Deadman, the deputy chief global privacy officer at Facebook, said:
“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.”
Facebook’s international headquarters situated in Ireland means that every user outside the US and Canada have protection rights by the European regulations. However, this also means that users outside these environs are not eligible to file complaints in the Irish courts.
The social network has been under close monitoring, following revelations from the whistle blower who confirmed that over 87 million users had the data abused by Facebook without their authorization. With the GDPR which will come to effect next month, internet-based firms will be subject to fines of up to 4% of their annual revenue if they breach data laws.
During the questioning with the congress people, Mark Zuckerberg had said that GDPR was “going to be a very positive step for the internet” and that every internet user deserved proper privacy protection.