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Europe’s new privacy law must work because Facebook didn’t want to roll out worldwide changes initially

Published Apr 4th, 2018 8:00PM EDT
Facebook vs. GDPR Law
Image: Stuart Ramson/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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If you’re a Facebook user in Europe, you’re about to get a better handle on your data thanks to a new privacy law that will take effect on May 25th. Called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the legal initiative will give Europeans the right to know what data internet companies hold about them and the right to have it deleted.

GDPR must be really good because Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said initially that while Facebook will comply with the law in Europe, the company won’t implement it in any other markets. He then changed his spirit rather quickly.

Zuckerberg told Reuters that Facebook will comply with GDPR “in spirit” in the markets where it’s not forced to do it, like the US.

“We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” the CEO said.

Zuckerberg also said that many things that are part of the law are already available to Facebook users.

“We think that this is a good opportunity to take that moment across the rest of the world,” he said. “The vast majority of what is required here are things that we’ve already had for years across the world for everyone.”

Apple, meanwhile, will follow the GDPR’s guidelines globally. Just a few days ago, Zuckerberg took a few hits at Apple’s Tim Cook, for the latter’s user privacy-related comments in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica revelations. Cook asked for better regulation and reminded people that Apple doesn’t treat its customers as the product. Zuckerberg wasn’t happy with those remarks.

Following Zuckerberg’s interview with Reuters, it looked like Apple might indeed care more about your privacy than Facebook. Although, Facebook, probably cared just as much as Apple, in spirit.

But then Facebook CEO talked to reporters following the company’s revelations that as many as 87 million Facebook users may have been affected by the Cambridge Analytica privacy breach. When asked about GDPR, Zuckerberg said the changes Facebook is making would apply worldwide not just Europe, according to The New York Times.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.