EXCLUSIVE-CEO Zuckerberg says Facebook not planning to extend European privacy law globally

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SAN FRANCISCO, April 3 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday that the social network had no immediate plans to apply a strict new European Union law on data privacy in its entirety to the rest of the world, as the company reels from a scandal over its handling of personal information of millions of its users.

Zuckerberg told Reuters in a phone interview that Facebook was already in compliance with many parts of the law ahead of a May deadline. He said the company wanted to extend privacy guarantees worldwide in spirit, but would make exceptions, which he declined to describe.

Asked what parts of the EU law he would not extend worldwide, Zuckerberg said: "We're still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing."

The law, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is billed as the biggest overhaul of online privacy since the birth of the internet, giving Europeans more protections for their data than ever before.

Last month, Facebook acknowledged that personal information about more than 50 million users wrongly ended up in the hands of consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on U.S. President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

Privacy advocacy groups have been urging Facebook and its Silicon Valley competitors to adopt worldwide all of the protections that they implement in Europe.

Zuckerberg said many of the tools that are part of the law, such as the ability of users to delete all their data, are already available for people on Facebook.

"We think that this is a good opportunity to take that moment across the rest of the world," he said. (Reporting by David Ingram and Joseph Menn in San Francisco Additional reporting by Salvador Rodriguez Editing by Peter Hendesron and Bill Rigby)