The European Union is all set to enforce the “General Data Protection Regulation” (GDPR) which compels all governments, service providers, and internet companies to disclose how they are employing the private data of users, starting May 25. To abide by the law, Facebook announced last week that it will roll out a set of privacy tools to not just Europeans but users across the world and is wholeheartedly promoting the cause of privacy.
Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer, said that the company is looking for feedback from users, businesses, legislators, and experts of privacy worldwide about the important elements of this potpourri of privacy tools. The company is taking so much of effort simply because the cost of non-compliance is very high. Defaulter companies earn a fine of at least 20 million euros, which in case of Facebook could stretch up to a billion dollars (~800 million euros).
Celebrating Data Privacy Day, which falls on January 28, Facebook has outlined seven basic principles of privacy, including the plan of action for users, which will help them secure their data against abuse. The post also underscores how Facebook will act to ensure that privacy is treated as the first priority in the company. Egan highlighted in a blog post that the company will inject videos (view here) in the stream of posts to make users aware of the actions they can take to keep their data confidential.
Facebook is finally realizing – or at least claiming it does – that most users aim to connect with people they already know in real life by means of Facebook. “Not everyone wants to share everything with everyone“, notes Egan, taking into view that people might want Facebook to not have access to select posts.
While it is ideal for the social media network to operate as a provider and not as a supervisor, it also raises doubts about unethical elements on the social media. Further, it remains to be seen how this approach affects Facebook ads, which is one of the major revenue generators on the platform.