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February 02, 2018

Facebook Prepares for Upcoming EU Data Regulations

LOS ANGELES—It looks like Facebook is already updating their privacy policy in advance of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR, which will become enforceable on May 25, 2018, is regulation intended to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union. The updated privacy policy gives users more control over their privacy and requires that Facebook tell you how the data is being collected. For the first time, Facebook has published its privacy principles. This policy details how they are collecting your data...of course it does not tell you how they are using it or discuss the massive data farming they are doing. But it is a big step forward for users, as they now have to make their privacy information much easier to access. At the bottom of the page, you can do a privacy check-up, which helps you adjust some of your basic privacy settings and delete apps that have access to your data. This is something Facebook has also made difficult in the past, not wanting you to delete old apps that you authorized, as all of this aids in their data mining.  To further compliance they have been posting videos in users feeds such as showing you how to delete posts, what happens to user information when an account has been deleted, and how to manage user data for Facebook ads.  Among Facebook’s principles is: “You own and can delete your information.” Sure enough, the law has “right to access” and “right to erasure” clauses requiring that companies let people download their own data and fully delete their information as well. (Assuming, of course, the government doesn’t want it for an investigation.) “We give you control of your privacy,” is another of Facebook’s newly public principles. So, yes, Facebook has created an annotated privacy control hub (upon threat of heavy fines)," Gizmodo.com reported. Alastair Graham from AgeChecked.com said, “GDPR is a challenge for Facebook, as it is for all companies that are monetizing the personal data that they hold. Most customers are not aware how Facebook uses their data. The new regulations mean that Facebook will have to clearly explain to their customers how their data is being used, and give users various options on stopping their data being used without permission. And, if a customer doesn’t reply to those ‘opt-in/opt-out’ questions, Facebook can’t just assume the customer wants to opt-in in every case. So, this is definitely going to affect their business; we’ll have to wait till May to see exactly how disruptive it is.” Though Facebook is not a huge traffic driver for most adult companies, as their policies about adult content are very strict, this does show that GDPR is being taken seriously by the social networks. Currently, there is no news about how or if Twitter will have to comply. Considering they do not collect user data in the same way as Facebook, it is possible they may be exempt, but that is yet to be seen. On Twitter, all you need is an email address to have an account. A name, birthdate, address, phone number, gender, location, are not required, though the network often pushes people to add phone numbers for account safety and to help prevent spam accounts.  Being on a GDPR compliant social network does not exempt a website from compliance. If you do business in the UK you will need to be compliant with age verification regulations on your site, otherwise, people in the UK will not be able to access your site regardless of any prior age verification you may have done. We still don't know how GDPR is going to affect the social networks as a whole, but regardless of what they do, you need to make sure your site is in compliance. Thankfully you can sign up with sites like avsecure.com, AgeID.com, and agechecked.org that will easily get you set up with the necessary tools to be compliant with the upcoming UK age verification regulations.

 
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