Facebook to move UK users to California terms, avoiding EU privacy rules
Facebook Inc will shift all its users in the United Kingdom into user agreements with the corporate headquarters in California, moving them out of their current relationship with Facebook’s Irish unit and out of reach of Europe’s privacy laws.
The change takes effect next year and follows a similar move announced in February by Google here. Those companies and others have European head offices in Dublin, and the UK's exit from the EU will change its legal relationship with Ireland, which remains in the Union.
Initially, sources briefed on the matter told Reuters about the move. Facebook later confirmed it.
“Like other companies, Facebook has had to make changes to respond to Brexit and will be transferring legal responsibilities and obligations for UK users from Facebook Ireland to Facebook Inc. There will be no change to the privacy controls or the services Facebook offers to people in the UK,” the company’s UK arm said.
Facebook’s UK users will remain subject to UK privacy law, which for now tracks the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Facebook is making the change partly because the EU privacy regime is among the world’s strictest, according to people familiar with the company. The EU rules give granular control to users over data about them.
In addition, the U.S. Cloud Act, passed in 2018, set a way for the UK and United States to more easily exchange data about cloud computing users.