Facebook shifting its UK users onto US agreements

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By Chielou Guitche

updated 7 months ago

The transition takes effect next year as pronounced in February by Google. As of the moment, all UK users are directed by protocols of Facebook's Irish headquarters, but this legal relationship will shift once the UK users exit from EU.


Steering these users away from their current affiliation with Facebook’s Irish unit could put UK users out of reach of Europe's privacy law.


This is Brexit (British Exit) in a nutshell, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. According to the social media giant “Like other companies, Facebook has had to make changes to respond to Brexit and will be transferring legal responsibilities and obligations for UK users from Facebook Ireland to Facebook Inc. There will be no change to the privacy controls or the services Facebook offers to people in the UK.”


UK users will continue to adhere to UK privacy law, which will still largely follow the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


Facebook is making the switch partly because the EU privacy administration is among the world’s most stringent. The EU rules give granular authority to users over data about them.

In addition, the Cloud Act - a US law declared in 2018 - has made it more manageable for US and UK officials to obtain data collected by digital service providers saved in each other’s territory.


Some despair that UK Facebook users could more easily be subject to monitoring by U.S. intelligence agencies or data requests from law enforcement. Some privacy advocates worry that the UK may lead to an even looser data privacy regime, particularly as it proceeds a trade deal with the United States, which offers very few protections.


Facebook will notify users of the migration in the next six months, a spokesman stated, giving them the opportunity to stop using the world’s largest social network and its Instagram and WhatsApp services.


The UK, like the European Union, is also pressuring Facebook on a number of other figures, including hate speech and terrorism policies. Facebook’s declaration comes at a time when the UK is escalating efforts to outlaw strong encryption, which Facebook is moving to execute on all its products.


The United States may also seek new laws on privacy and social media content, and federal and state prosecutors recently started antitrust lawsuits against both Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google. Furthermore, tech lobbyists await that U.S. tech regulations will remain more industry-friendly than those in the UK.

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