Exclusive: Facebook to put 1.5 billion users out of reach of new EU privacy law

UNTV News   •   April 20, 2018   •   3091

FILE PHOTO: People are silhouetted as they pose with mobile devices in front of a screen projected with a Facebook logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – If a new European law restricting what companies can do with people’s online data went into effect tomorrow (April 20) almost 1.9 billion Facebook Inc users around the world would be protected by it. The online social network is making changes that ensure the number will be much smaller.

Facebook members outside the United States and Canada, whether they know it or not, are currently governed by terms of service agreed with the company’s international headquarters in Ireland.

Next month, Facebook is planning to make that the case for only European users, meaning 1.5 billion members in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America will not fall under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect on May 25.

The previously unreported move, which Facebook confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday, shows the world’s largest online social network is keen to reduce its exposure to GDPR, which allows European regulators to fine companies for collecting or using personal data without users’ consent.

That removes a huge potential liability for Facebook, as the new EU 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.

The change comes as Facebook is under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers around the world since disclosing last month that the personal information of millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, setting off wider concerns about how it handles user data.

The change affects more than 70 percent of Facebook’s 2 billion-plus members. As of December, Facebook had 239 million users in the United States and Canada, 370 million in Europe and 1.52 billion users elsewhere.

Facebook, like many other U.S. 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. The unit is subject to regulations applied by the 28-nation European Union.

Facebook said the latest change does not have tax implications.

‘IN SPIRIT’

In a statement given to Reuters, Facebook played down the importance of the terms of service change, saying it plans to make the privacy controls and settings that Europe will get under GDPR available to the rest of the world.

“We apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland,” the company said.

Earlier this month, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told Reuters in an interview that his company would apply the EU law globally “in spirit,” but stopped short of committing to it as the standard for the social network across the world.

In practice, the change means the 1.5 billion affected users will not be able to file complaints with Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner or in Irish courts. Instead they will be governed by more lenient U.S. privacy laws, said Michael Veale, a technology policy researcher at University College London.

Facebook will have more leeway in how it handles data about those users, Veale said. Certain types of data such as browsing history, for instance, are considered personal data under EU law but are not as protected in the United States, he said.

The company said its rationale for the change was related to the European Union’s mandated privacy notices, “because EU law requires specific language.” For example, the company said, the new EU law requires specific legal terminology about the legal basis for processing data which does not exist in U.S. law.

NO WARNING

Ireland was unaware of the change. One Irish official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he did not know of any plans by Facebook to transfer responsibilities wholesale to the United States or to decrease Facebook’s presence in Ireland, where the social network is seeking to recruit more than 100 new staff.

Facebook released a revised terms of service in draft form two weeks ago, and they are scheduled to take effect next month.

Other multinational companies are also planning changes. LinkedIn, a unit of Microsoft Corp, tells users in its existing terms of service that if they are outside the United States, they have a contract with LinkedIn Ireland. New terms that take effect May 8 move non-Europeans to contracts with U.S.-based LinkedIn Corp.

LinkedIn said in a statement on Wednesday that all users are entitled to the same privacy protections. “We’ve simply streamlined the contract location to ensure all members understand the LinkedIn entity responsible for their personal data,” the company said.

Reporting by David Ingram in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Joseph Menn in San Francisco, Padraic Halpin and Conor Humphries in Dublin and Douglas Busvine in Frankfurt; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Bill Rigby

Istorya: A superhero story of a boy who wants to save his dad

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 16, 2019

Unlike most of the kids his age, Lance Abarquez is not used to playing.

While 12-year-olds like him would run around or play ball, Lance would prefer selling tinapa or smoked fish.

At the tender age of 12, Lance is doing everything he can to succeed in life.

“Hindi po ako sanay maglaro po, iyong nanay ko po kasi mahirap din po (I was never used to playing because my mom was poor),” he said.

Lance started selling when he was eight years old. Similar to some superhero backstory, he never knew his biological parents. Instead, Lance was able to find a home with Soledad Reyes and Eduardo Abarquez.

Unfortunately, his foster mother, Soledad passed away while his father got diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Despite the struggles at an early age, Lance continues to face his everyday life with hope and perseverance—like most superheroes. He wakes up at 6:00 a.m. to study and will go home as late as 9:00 p.m. for selling smoked fish.

His superhero goal? Save up for college and to help his sick father.

Lance said he wanted to give back the love and support he received from his father.

“Masuklian ko siya sa pag-aalaga niya po sa akin dati (I want to repay him for taking care of me),” he said.

Lance recently went viral on social media after a netizen posted his story on Facebook.

Get to know more about Lance’s story on Istorya at 5:00 p.m., Saturday.—AAC

Daing Boy [PLUG]

Sumikat sa social media dahil sa sipag at husay sa pagtitinda ng daing at tinapa. Subalit may iba pang mga bagay na mas kahanga-hanga kay Lance.Tunghayan ang kanyang #Istorya, October 19, 5:00 pm.

Posted by ISTORYA on Tuesday, 15 October 2019

MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago sues 3 Facebook page administrators for cyberlibel

Freema Gloria   •   October 9, 2019

MMDA Spokesperson Asec. Celine Pialago

MMDA Spokesperson Asec. Celine Pialago has filed a complaint before the PNP Anti-cybercrime group against the administrators of three Facebook pages who allegedly have been disseminating false information about her.

In a post of Pinoy laugh page, it stated that Pialago has allegedly advised commuters to better stay at home if they were having difficulty commuting to work.

Pialago vehemently denied saying such a statement.

Aside from the said administrators, the MMDA spokesperson is also planning to hold the twitter page users responsible for spreading fake news about her.

The PNP Anti-cybercrime group is now looking into the identities of the said Facebook page administrators. —FSG (with details from April Cenedoza)

Robber caught on viral video arrested in Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 7, 2019

The man who was caught in a viral video for robbing a trucker in Road-10 Tondo, Manila was arrested by authorities on Sunday (October 6).

The Manila Police District Special Mayor’s Reaction Team (MPD-SMaRT) arrested Christopher Dumapi alias “Toper” during an anti-criminality operation on Mel Lopez Boulevard.

Dumapi is one of the four suspects who robbed a trucker on Saturday (October 5). Authorities identified the remaining suspects as Jack Dumapi, Junjun Barola, and Jimwell Jimenez.

On Monday, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso expressed his gratitude for the netizens who took the video of the crime.

“Maraming salamat sa iyo. Kung hindi dahil sa’yo, hindi mo inupload, hindi natin mabibigyan ng hustisya ang ginawang pang-aabuso sa driver ng truck (Thank you. If not for you, there will be no justice for the truck driver),” he said.

Meanwhile, the Manila Mayor also called out the parents of the suspects to surrender their sons and face justice.

“Sa mga magulang ng mga ito, hawak na po namin ang mga pangalan. Hinahanap na po kayo ng mga alagad ng batas. Hinahanap po kayo (To the parents of these individuals, we have the names [of your sons]. Authorities are now looking for them),” he added.—AAC

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