Facebook Attempts to Limit Reach of EU Privacy Law


About 1.5 billion Facebook users around the world could see some changes to their terms of service.

Facebook has been in a lot of hot water lately, especially when it comes to privacy issues. The tech company may have found a new batch of trouble.

The European Union is introducing a strict new data law, the General Data Protection Regulation, and Facebook is trying to limit its impact, Reuters reported.

The new law limits how much tech companies can collect and use your data and also requires a greater level of transparency for users.

The GDPR is set to take effect on May 25 and will affect more than just the users living in the EU. Outside of the U.S. and Canada, Facebook users fall under the terms and conditions associated with Facebook's operation in Ireland, which means this new European law could protect people in Australia, Africa and Asia. That's around 1.5 billion users. But Facebook doesn't want that to happen and is trying to prevent that by changing its terms of service for those users so that they will fall under U.S. privacy laws instead.

Why? Facebook hopes by keeping this law to only those in the EU, it will limit liability and potential fines if it violates the terms of the GDPR. The strictest data infractions could require the company to cough up four percent of its annual income or €20 million, whichever is higher.

The company claims that despite these specific changes they will treat all their users around the globe the same.

"While the substance of our data policy is the same globally, people in the EU will see specific details relevant only to people who live there, like how to contact our Data Protection Officer under GDPR. We want to be clear that there is nothing different about the controls and protections we offer around the world," Facebook wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.