Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before European Union Parliament
By: Amy Katzenberg, Xiro Xone News May 17, 2018 Updated: 11:39 AM PT
Mark Zuckerberg is slated to testify in front of the European Union Parliament, something he once declined to do. Zuckerberg will answer questions about the release of personal information on more than 50 million, some have said, “Over a billion” Facebook users without their knowledge, or consent.
After refusing to testify in the United Kingdom about the misdeeds of Facebook, and Cambridge Analytica, the company they allowed to access users data, Zuckerberg decided to meet and answer questions from the European Union Parliament.
He will arrive just as the new General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) takes affect. The General Data Protection Regulation focuses on ensuring that users know, understand, and consent to, the data collected about them. The new law protects individuals in the 28 member countries of the European Union, even if the data is processed outside the European Union.
The reversal by Zuckerberg to answer questions may have arisen out of concerned that, the European Union will take a hard line with companies like facebook, which could have an affect on stock price, advertisers, and profit.
The GDPR law was approved and adopted December 15, 2015. The text of the timeline reads: “Parliament and Council have come to an agreement, and the text will be final as of the official signing to take place in early January of 2016.” Enforcement of the new law started May 2018 and read, “ Following a 2 year post-adoption grace period, the GDPR will become fully enforceable throughout the European Union.”
The consent portion of the GDPR law clearly states: “The conditions for consent have been strengthened, and companies will no longer be able to use long illegible terms and conditions full of legalese, as the request for consent must be given in an intelligible and easily accessible form, with the purpose for data processing attached to that consent.
Consent must be clear and distinguishable from other matters and provided in an intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it.”
The penalties a business will be subject to if they violate the law states, “Under GDPR organizations in breach of GDPR can be fined up to 4% of annual global
turnover or €20 Million (whichever is greater).” 20 million Euros is approximately 23 million US dollars. The penalties under the GDPR continued with, “This is the maximum fine that can be imposed for the most serious infringements e.g. not having sufficient customer consent to process data or violating the core of Privacy by Design concepts. There is a tiered approach to fines e.g. a company can be fined 2% for not having their records in order (article 28), not notifying the supervising authority and data subject about a breach or not conducting impact assessment. It is important to note that these rules apply to both controllers and processors -- meaning 'clouds' will not be exempt from GDPR enforcement.”
Facebook usually charges users a fee to access certain data Facebook is keeping on the user. The new GDPR law regarding a users right to access states, “Part of the expanded rights of data subjects outlined by the GDPR is the right for data subjects to obtain from the data controller confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning them is being processed, where and for what purpose.
Further, the controller shall provide a copy of the personal data, free of charge, in an electronic format. This change is a dramatic shift to data transparency and empowerment of data subjects.” And in terms of notifying a user when there has been a breach of their information, the new GDPR requires “breach notification will become mandatory in all member states where a data breach is likely to “result in a risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals”.
This must be done within 72 hours of first having become aware of the breach. Data processors will also be required to notify their customers, the controllers, “without undue delay” after first becoming aware of a data breach.”
The European Union’s new privacy laws give more protection to internet users in the European Union than, the privacy laws Americans receive, in the United States.
The GDPR laws are straight-forward and to the point, and if Mark Zuckerberg intends to stop the downward slide between Facebook and their users, he may want to adopt parts of the EU law. If the U.S. Congress decides to pass a law that will offer Americans protection as good as those offered to citizens in the European Union, they may want to adopt privacy laws that are the same, or better.