Facebook is moving its UK users’ agreements out from under the privacy protections of EU to US. Users of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in the UK will be required to sign new terms of service agreement in the coming months with Facebook’s headquarters in California, instead of its European branch in the Republic of Ireland. This means that the users will no longer be covered by data policies created under the strict regime of the EU.
The reason Facebook is doing so is because it wants to avoid a situation where UK citizens are no longer citizens of the EU, but their agreements are based in an EU country, where Facebook is subject to the EU’s data protection laws.
Some UK privacy advocates are concerned that the country’s privacy laws wouldn’t remain too strong once it’s outside the EU. Moreover, the UK will no longer be part of the EU’s trade agreements and will have to make its own. This raises the concern about the protections that the US may ask to be given up in negotiations.
According to Facebook’s UK branch, no changes will be made to the privacy controls or services offered by Facebook to UK users. However, the users will still have to re-agree to the terms and conditions, which they will be asked to do in a few months.