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Facebook Privacy Settings Challenged in the EU

05.26.15

Facebook complained that it "doesn't make sense that 28 regulators should make different interpretations of the same law" reported by the New York Times, that "France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium — are investigating Facebook's new privacy settings." The report went to say that Facebook "says it complies with Europe's strict data protection rules" and that:

…it has been in contact with Ireland's privacy regulator about the policy, because the company's non-American activities are regulated from Dublin, the site of its international headquarters. The company contends that Europe's other regulators do not have the jurisdiction to demand changes to how it uses people's data.

The report also included these comments about Facebook's choice of Ireland for its headquarters:

The debate is whether individuals' privacy should be protected primarily by their domestic regulators or by the watchdog in the country where a company has its European headquarters. Reforms aimed at answering this question are expected by the end of the year, though domestic privacy regulators are eager to hold on to the power to police activities in their own countries.

All social media companies who do business in the EU since this investigation could "lead either to fines or to demands that Facebook alter its use of online information."

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