Facebook announces new European privacy controls, for the world

Facebook is introducing new privacy controls for each of its 2 billion users as part of compliance with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will enter into force on May 25. Facebook will ask all users, regardless of where they live, to review their privacy options, from the information they add to their profile to how Facebook uses their data to guide the ads. The company is also announcing the return of facial recognition to Europe and Canada after courts ruled seven years ago that Facebook's photo-tagging system collected biometric data without the user's consent. The new controls will be released first to European users, starting this week, and then expanded to all users worldwide later, Facebook said in a blog post.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg had indicated in some way that Facebook would extend its European data protection controls worldwide. In accordance with GDPR, Facebook will present users with the option to accept or manage their relevant data settings. The social networks service will ask users whether or not they wish to continue sharing political, religious and relationship information in their profile, for example, and will facilitate the elimination of profile information. EU users would start viewing permissions screens this week, while users in the rest of the world will be asked at a later unspecified date. Under the rules of GDPR, companies are subject to sanctions if they use or collect personal information without consent. European users will also see the contact details of the Facebook Data Protection Officer, which is a requirement of GDPR.

Image: Facebook

Facebook also said that it will ask users to review and choose whether or not Facebook wants to use partner data to show ads; partners like websites and apps that use Like buttons. "Facebook is a service supported by advertising," Facebook's deputy director of privacy, Rob Sherman, told a news conference. "All the ads on Facebook are directed to some extent, and that's also true for offline advertising."

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Image: Facebook

Users in the EU and Canada will have a new option for choose to participate to Facebook's facial recognition products. (Courts in Canada and the European Union have previously ruled that Facebook's photo-tagging system violated the privacy law.) In addition to the benefit of seeing who is posting their photos, Facebook is positioning facial recognition as a security mechanism By allowing the company to detect others, they try to use their image as their profile picture. Facebook, of course, benefits by having access to important biometric data.

Facial recognition products have been controversial, and Facebook emphasizes that they are completely optional for users to enable. Earlier this week, a federal judge in the US UU It ruled that Facebook must face a class action lawsuit (and the potential of billions in fines) for its Tag Suggestions feature, a facial recognition tool that the lawsuit alleges violates Illinois law by storing biometric data without consent when it was first introduced. time.

Facebook is also implementing protections for teens in compliance with GDPR. "Even where the law does not require it, we will ask each teenager if he wants to see ads based on partner data and if they want to include personal information in their profiles," Facebook said in the blog post. Young people between 13 and 15 years of age in some EU countries will need the permission of a parent or guardian under GDPR to allow Facebook functions such as targeted advertisements and access to profile information. Facebook said that teens in this age group will see a "less personalized" version of Facebook with limited sharing options until they obtain consent. The Facebook configuration and privacy shortcuts that you entered last month to comply with GDPR will also start appearing this week.

Facebook has faced intense scrutiny in recent months after revealing reports revealed that Cambridge Analytica analytics used data from users of up to 50 million Facebook users. Zuckerberg has testified before Congress as a result, while the company has also taken out full-page press notices apologizing for the scandal.

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