Facebook announced this week that, beginning next year, it will shift all UK users into user agreements based with the company’s corporate headquarters in California. This move is partially due to Brexit — but it will also help Facebook avoid Europe’s strict privacy laws.
For now, Facebook’s UK users will remain subject to UK privacy law. However, their data will have much weaker protections because of the agreement switch. For its part, Facebook went out of its way to emphasize that nothing substantial will change for these users.
“There will be no change to the privacy controls or the services Facebook offers to people in the UK,” Facebook said.
However, some UK experts expressed concern that these users are at greater risk of being surveilled by foreign government authorities.
“The bigger the company, the more personal data they hold, the more they are likely to be subject to surveillance duties or requirements to hand over data to the U.S. government,” privacy advocate Jim Killock told Reuters.
It will be interesting to see if Facebook’s British users rise up against this change to protect their personal information. Other users around the world don’t have much of a choice when it comes to how Facebook handles their data, but there might still be time for these plans to be put on hold.
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