Facebook to move its UK users onto US agreements post-Brexit

Facebook is planning to shift its UK users onto agreements with the company’s corporate headquarters in California, taking them out of reach of Europe’s privacy laws under their current agreement with the company’s Irish unit. The move will happen once the UK leaves the European Union and follows a similar move by Google in February.

“Like other companies, Facebook has had to make changes to respond to Brexit and will be transferring legal responsibilities and obligations for UK users from Facebook Ireland to Facebook Inc. There will be no change to the privacy controls or the services Facebook offers to people in the UK,” the company told Reuters, which broke the story.

The change will come into effect in 2021, but the social media platform’s users in the UK will still be subject to UK privacy law, which is currently very similar to the EU’s strict GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Some privacy experts, however, worry that the UK might loosen its privacy laws once it leaves the EU and seeks trade deals. In the US, the Cloud Act, passed in 2018, already makes it easier for the UK and the US to exchange data about cloud computing users.