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Zuckerberg says Facebook has 'always shared' the values of Europe's new data law

Key Points
  • "A lot of the philosophy that is encoded in regulation like GDPR is really how we've thought about a lot of this stuff for a long time," Zuckerberg said.
  • Facebook remains haunted by revelations that the data of tens of millions may have been improperly shared with political data firm Cambridge Analytica.
  • Zuckerberg has been grilled by European representatives and U.S. lawmakers, but has turned down invitations to appear before U.K. parliamentarians.
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Facebook has always shared the principles of a strict data protection law being introduced by the European Union this week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook provided control, accountability and transparency about how data is used, referring to values enshrined in the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

"These are values that we've always shared for Facebook's whole existence," Zuckerberg said at the Viva Technology conference in Paris.

"A huge part of what we do is make sure that people have the tools to share information, whether that's a photo that you care about or a message with exactly the people who you want to share it with. So that way we can get to what we really care about, which is helping people connect."

GDPR, which comes into force on Friday, threatens to fine firms up to 4 percent of annual global turnover or 20 million euros ($23.5 million), whichever is the larger amount. It forces companies to be more clear on consent to use and share customer data and allows consumers to request that firms delete all information companies have on them — known as the "right to be forgotten."

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Zuckerberg said: "A lot of the philosophy that is encoded in regulation like GDPR is really how we've thought about a lot of this stuff for a long time.

"I don't want to understate the areas where there are new rules that we've had to go implement but I also don't want to make it seem like this is a massive departure in how we've thought about this stuff either."

Zuckerberg's comments come just a day before GDPR becomes enforceable. The company is currently asking users around the world to review their privacy settings, ahead of the law's implementation date.

Politicians in the U.S. and Europe are seeking answers from Facebook after it was revealed that the data of tens of millions may have been improperly shared with political data firm Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica briefly worked for President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign. Concerns have been raised over whether targeted advertising techniques and the use of Facebook data may have played a role in swaying elections.

Facebook has admitted that 87 million users' data may have been shared with Cambridge Analytica. So far, Zuckerberg has been grilled by European representatives and U.S. lawmakers, but has turned down invitations to appear before U.K. parliamentarians.