- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he’s working on new rules for protecting users’ privacy, but they won’t totally emulate the strict new data protections taking affect in the European Union next month, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Mr. Zuckerberg, 33, said in a phone interview that he’s working on a version of GDPR meant to guarantee the privacy rights of individuals outside the EU, Reuters reported Tuesday. He was reluctant to say which parts of the law he would incorporate or ignore, however, and otherwise didn’t elaborate, Reuters reported.

“We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress next week

“We think that this is a good opportunity to take that moment across the rest of the world,” he added. “The vast majority of what is required here are things that we’ve already had for years across the world for everyone.”

Facebook has faced heightened scrutiny over its data policies after it was reported last month that Cambridge Analytica, a British-based data and consulting firm, exploited the personal information of 50 million Facebook users without their permission during the course of its work for clients including the 2016 Trump campaign.

At least four state attorneys general have since opened investigations into the social network, and the Federal Trade Commission announced last week the initiation of a non-public probe into it practices.

Adopted nearly two years before the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the GDPR taking affect next month will give EU residents the right to know what data is stored on them and the right to have it taken offline, among other protections. Only about 17 percent of Facebook’s 2.2 billion users reside in Europe, however, meaning most account holders won’t be shielded.

On Wednesday, meanwhile, Facebook announced updates to its terms of service and data policy meant to clarify the type of information it obtains from its users.

“These updates are about making things clearer. We’re not asking for new rights to collect, use or share your data on Facebook. We’re also not changing any of the privacy choices you’ve made in the past,” Facebook said.

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