Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made headlines last month after suggesting that perhaps his company should be more tightly regulated following the massive Cambridge Analytica breach, but the mega-billionaire said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday that his company doesn’t plan to comply with the European Union’s strict new data privacy regulations across the globe.
When asked which parts of the EU’s law he plans to extend to the United States and other countries with large populations of Facebook users, Zuckerberg said the company is “still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing.”
Critics immediately seized upon Zuckerberg’s “in spirit” remark as evidence that Facebook’s promises to impose stricter privacy protections are more about quelling public outrage than substantially shifting the company’s lucrative data-mining practices.
“This interview should make clear Facebook will only self-regulate to the extent that it doesn’t threaten its data-hoarding business model,” argued Gizmodo‘s Tom McKay in response to Zuckerberg’s comments. “Got any complaints? Good luck complaining to the band of corporate-friendly stooges currently in control of the [U.S] government.”
Set to go into effect in May, the EU’s “General Data Protection Regulation” (GDPR)—which Reuters calls “the biggest overhaul of online privacy since the birth of the internet”—will require companies to receive clear consent from users before collecting their data and allow users to erase personal data that has been stored.
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