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GDPR ‘Step in the Right Direction,’ Says Mark Zuckerberg

Trends and Insight 124 Add to collection

Facebook co-founder and CEO believes that the new laws’ philosophy is not too different from how Facebook previously approached things, writes LBB’s Addison Capper

GDPR ‘Step in the Right Direction,’ Says Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg declared last week at Viva Technology in Paris that the newly implemented GDPR laws within the EU wouldn’t greatly affect the business practices of Facebook, of which he is the co-founder and CEO.

“Because giving people control of how their data is used has been a core principal of Facebook since the beginning,” he said, “GDPR adds some new controls and some areas we need to comply with, but overall it isn’t such a massive departure from how we’ve approached this in the past.”

“I don’t want to downplay it,” he added later on in his chat with former Publicis Groupe chief executive Maurice Lévy on the eve of GDPR - and one day after he and other tech leaders met with French president Emmanuel Macron. “There are strong new rules that we’ve needed to put a bunch of work into making sure that we comply with. But as a whole, the philosophy behind this is not completely different from how we’ve approached things.”

Speaking more generally about GDPR, Zuckerberg was positive in his outlook for the new Euro-wide data laws. Focused on what he sees as “control”, “transparency” and “accountability, GDPR “can increase public trust that these systems are working and give people confidence that these systems are respecting what they want. I think GDPR can be a step in that direction.”

So much so that Facebook plans to roll-out the GDPR compliance tools already implemented for the EU market to its users around the world. That will begin in the “coming weeks” according to Zuckerberg. As part of GDPR, users can now opt in to have their data used by other apps and sites in order to make the ads they see on Facebook’s services more relevant to them. And while Zuckerberg admits that some people do have concerns about that, the vast majority of people do choose to opt in, he believes. “The reality is, if you’re going to see ads in a service you want them to be relevant and good ads.”

Speaking of ads, Lévy also pressed Zuckerberg on how GDPR may affect Facebook’s core business model: advertising. Seemingly not concerned about that aspect, Zuckerberg is still a firm believer that the advertising model is right for both Facebook’s core ideals and its user base. 

The mission of the company is to help people build community and bring the whole world closer together,” he said. “We want to be able to connect everyone and in order to do that the ads model is the right business model for us because it allows us to offer the service for free, including people who wouldn’t be able to afford to pay for a paid service. If you want to have a service that is serving everyone and connecting everyone having something that’s free and ad-supported makes a tonne of sense.”

Other topics of discussion for Zuckerberg and Lévy were predictions for the AI industry - and Elon Musk’s suspicions around the technology - and how Facebook is tackling new types internet attacks in the wake of Cambridge Analytica and Russian interference in the US election, with a team of 20,000 people focused on safety and an AI system that’s capable of flag gin 99% of terrorist content before members of the Facebook community spot it. 

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LBB Editorial, Tue, 29 May 2018 15:19:12 GMT