Facebook has not exactly had a pristine reputation regarding privacy over the years.
In 2009 it spent time persuading Facebook users to share as much information as possible with everyone else on the platform. There was a significant backlash from these actions, but it was not until 2014 that Facebook changed the default setting on accounts to friends instead of public. And, as recently as 2016 there was an outcry when it was found that information was being exchanged between WhatsApp accounts and Facebook.
Of course, it pays for Facebook to persuade users to share as much information as possible, so it can sell information on, or use if for marketing purposes.
Facebook and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
When GDPR becomes law, on 25 May 2018, any company that does not comply could face the imposition of costly fines. The maximum possible fine available is 20 million euros, or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is higher. Looking at this from Facebook’s point of view, you can see why a potential fine of more than one billion euros would not be welcome. It is with this is mind that Facebook is launching a privacy hub. This means that users will be able to deal with all security aspects of their account in one place. The ability to do this gives individuals greater control over their personal data which is held on Facebook.
Facebook certainly seems to be talking the talk when it comes to introducing GDPR friendly solutions, but will it actually walk the walk? It remains to be seen how compliant the social media giant will be, once GDPR becomes a reality. But, it seems certain that the company will be closely monitored especially after it declared that data could not be shared between platforms when it acquired WhatsApp, only for that to happen two years later.