Commexis Cast Daily – Apr. 04, 2018: Facebook Will Not Extend GDPR Privacy Standards to US + Non-European Users – UPDATED

UPDATE 04/05/2018: a few hours after our show went live, Mark Zuckerberg refuted Reuters‘ story that Facebook would not extend the GDPR privacy restrictions to all users. Facebook later clarified that all privacy restrictions, and all standards that are GDPR compliant, will take effect for all users. TechCrunch has more information about Zuckerberg’s statement.

Today’s Commexis Cast discusses Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to not extend the GDPR European Union law restrictions to non-European users, which results in lesser privacy restrictions in non-European countries. Plus, Instagram is lowering the number of times developers can gain information from it’s API.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Facebook Inc.’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg states that while he agreed with the privacy regulations set out in the GDPR “in spirit”, Facebook would not be setting those restrictions as a standard. Zuckerberg told Reuters that, “We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally [sic] be, in spirit, the whole thing.”

For those unfamiliar, the GDPR is a set of standards passed by the European Union which allows users to see how much information a brand/company has on them, as well as the right to have that information deleted. This also affects the way data is gathered through cookies and pixels by requiring sites ask explicit permission to do so.

Zuckerberg’s statement comes at an interesting time following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which has many looking towards Facebook and their privacy settings with a close eye. Of course, the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the data Facebook collects in regards to the GDPR are not entirely related data sets, and under GDPR restrictions Cambridge Analytica would be the one at fault (for not properly gaining consent for the information, and selling gathered information under an academic license).

Facebook is also an ad supported business, which Zuckerberg and Vox’s Ezra Klein discussed in an exclusive interview following Tim Cook’s critiques of the social network. Phillip explains, as we’ve mentioned previously, that to keep a something like Facebook running, advertisers need to be able to go off of data collected by Facebook to target their ads. As we mentioned in our special report on Cambridge Analytica scandal last week, that user data is anonymous to the brand.

Mark Zuckerberg will be appearing before Congress on April 11th, and we’ll keep you updated on what we learn, and what this means for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp going forward.

Seemingly in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Recode reports that the Facebook Inc. owned Instagram has reduced how much data developers can gather from it’s API. The change came on Friday, seemingly out of nowhere according to sources that spoke to Recode. The rate limit was reduced to 200 calls per hour, down significantly from the previous 5000 calls per hour previously. Some developers were cut off all together.

What this effectively means is developers will have less opportunities to “ping” Instagram’s servers and gather information. This will likely result in developers having to be pickier about the types of data they are gathering, rather than being able to gather as much data as they want regardless of its use.

According to Recode, Instagram was preparing to scale back the number of calls per hour starting this summer and completely transitioning to a more limited API by 2020, but began much earlier than expected likely due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Today’s cast: Phillip Brooks (Commexis Lead Strategist) and Matthew McGrorty (Commexis Videographer/Podcaster).

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Matt McGrorty

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