Facebook and other internet companies are racing to prepare for a sweeping new European Union (EU) privacy law that aims to give consumers greater control over the use of their data.
The law comes at a critical time for the industry, which is already facing tough questions over its data practices.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect across the EU on May 25, will drastically change what internet companies can do with customers’ data.
Users will have greater control, including the ability to learn what information companies have on them. The GDPR will also codify what’s known as “the right to be forgotten,” meaning consumers will be able to order web services to delete their data or stop distributing it to third parties. The rules will also require companies to give users the ability to easily revoke consent for handing over personal information.
“I think it’s going to have a fundamental seismic shift in the whole industry because it grants people rights over their data that they don’t currently have,” said David Carroll, an associate professor at the Parsons School of Design who studies digital media and data practices.
“It really empowers consumers to get a better deal; we’ve never really had a say in the deal,” Carroll added.
Internet giants could be forced to pay for the disruption they cause in society and submit to French or European privacy regulations, he suggested.
He was speaking after announcing a €1.5bn (£1.32bn) investment in artificial intelligence research to accelerate innovation and catch up with China and the US.
Mr Macron said companies such as Google and Facebook were welcome in France, brought jobs and were “part of our ecosystem”.
- Photo-journalist Nick Stern was escorted to Facebook headquarters by security guards after he took photos of Mark Zuckerberg cleaning up after his dog in 2011
- He told DailyMail.com he was told Zuckerberg’s life was private and had that he had ‘no right pursuing him or stories about him to publish’
- ‘It’s ironic that Zuckerberg will go to such extraordinary lengths to protect his own privacy – when the privacy of millions of people doesn’t appear to have been high on his priority list,’ he said
- The 50-year-old, who lives in Los Angeles, had traveled to Palo Alto in April, 2011 to profile Zuckerberg, 33, when he first became a public figure
- The world’s youngest billionaire at the time was seen whipping out a plastic bag, crouching down and cleaning up his new puppy Beast’s mess near his home
- Stern said the way the meeting was conducted left him feeling ‘intimidated’ – although no direct threats were made
A 29-member expert group to tackle fake news has been launched in Brussels. Bulgarian EU commissioner Mariya Gabriel said Europe needed a joint approach that must be “carefully thought through.”