Facebook is moving its UK users out from under the strict privacy protections of the European Union. Users of the social media site, and of Instagram and WhatsApp, will have to sign a terms of service agreement in the coming months.
The change is meant to avoid a situation where UK citizens are no longer citizens of the EU, but have agreements based in an EU country. Users will still be protected by the UK’s data privacy laws, which currently mirror the EU’s GDPR.
Open rights group’s executive director said the UK could weaken its privacy laws once it’s outside the EU. The company is more likely to be subject to surveillance duties or requirements to hand over data to the U.S..
Back in 2018, the US passed the cloud act, which makes it easier for the US government to share US companies’ data with foreign law enforcement. In 2018 the U.S. passed the bill, which allows the US to share data with UK law enforcement.
The UK will no longer be included in the EU’s trade agreements. Privacy advocates are worried about what protections the US may ask to be given up in negotiations.