Facebook is starting to roll out new data privacy settings thanks to a law out of Europe.
By Emily Stewart Apr 18, 2018, 11:30am EDT
If your Facebook page starts to look different or the platform starts asking you whether you’re okay with having your data shared in the coming weeks or months, you’ll have Europe to thank for it: The company has begun to roll out Facebook privacy changes to comply with a new data protection measure in the European Union.
Late on Tuesday, Facebook announced the first steps it is taking to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, a new privacy law out of Europe designed to make sure users know and understand the data companies collect about them and consent to sharing it. Set to be enacted on May 25, the GDPR is the most sweeping overhaul of online privacy in more than two decades.
Starting this week, Facebook is introducing what it called new “privacy experiences,” said Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan and deputy general counsel Ashlie Beringer in a post laying out the changes.
The announcement seeks to cast the changes as something Facebook wanted to do — which, given the company’s past bad behavior in protecting user data and Mark Zuckerberg’s history of privacy violations and apologies — it probably did not.
European users will start to see changes this week; they’ll be prompted to agree to certain elements of Facebook and asked to give the terms of service a second look. Facebook users in the US and the rest of the world are expected to get the same treatment “on a slightly later schedule.”
Here’s what Facebook says is changing, starting with Europe:
- Facebook will prompt users to say whether they want to see targeted ads based on the political, religious, and relationship information they’ve shared on their profiles or data collected by Facebook’s partners. They’ll also make it easier for people to delete information they don’t want shared.