Facebook Seeks Consent For Facial Recognition Tech In Canada, EU

Rodiano Bonacci
Aprile 20, 2018

The GDPR, which takes effect on May 25, requires social networks to gain consent from users before they can use their personal data.

That removes a huge potential liability for Facebook, as the new European Union law allows for fines of up to 4 percent of global annual revenue for infractions, which in Facebook's case could mean billions of dollars.

Facebook has been in a lot of hot water lately, especially when it comes to privacy issues. Facebook now says that if "you are a resident of or have your principal place of business in the United States or Canada", the ToS are an agreement between you and Facebook Inc which is based in the USA, otherwise, it is an agreement with Facebook Ireland Limited.

It strongly implied that it would offer GDPR protections to everyone, penning a blog post this week titled: "Complying With New Privacy Laws and Offering New Privacy Protections to Everyone, No Matter Where You Live".

"We're still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing", he said earlier this month to Reuters. Outside of the US 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.

Currently, Facebook has two corporate headquarters: one in California, where it is based, and an global one in Dublin, Ireland - where it receives preferential tax treatment.

Facebook will be rolling out new privacy choices to users under the GDPR, however. But the social network is trying to introduce changes that will make this figure less, according to Reuters.

USA and Canadian users are governed by terms of service from the California HQ and everyone else is covered by the Irish terms of service.

Facebook, like many other USA technology companies, established an Irish subsidiary in 2008 and took advantage of the country's low corporate tax rates, routing through it revenue from some advertisers outside North America.

Facebook is now feverishly working on ways to legally transfer global users outside of the European Union back to the USA (the major region with the least protection for privacy) while maintaining the tax haven in Ireland. It claims there is no tax implication to the move.

Sherman stressed that the social media giant has changed all sorts of policies since 2014, and especially in the past few weeks, to prevent this kind of information from being shared, and to limit the ability of third parties to scrape user data.

The case was moved to San Francisco at Facebook's request.

LinkedIn said in a statement on Wednesday that all users are entitled to the same privacy protections.

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