Zuckerberg: Americans won't receive the same Facebook privacy tools as Europeans (Update: now they will)

Facebook could give American users the same privacy enhancements that are coming to European users. But they won't, Mark Zuckerberg admits. Put simply, they aren't legally obliged to.

In a phone interview with Reuters yesterday Mark Zuckerberg declined to commit to universally implementing changes to the platform that are necessary to comply with the European Union’s incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Rather, he said the company was working on a version of the law that would bring some European privacy guarantees worldwide — declining to specify to the reporter which parts of the law would not extend worldwide.

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

This is a subtle shift of line. Facebook’s leadership has previously implied the product changes it’s making to comply with GDPR’s incoming data protection standard would be extended globally.

Photo: Reuters / Jonathan Ernst

UPDATE: Today, on a conference call with reporters, Zuckerberg says “We intend to make all the same controls available everywhere, not just in Europe.”