Europe has always been aggressive in regulating the tech companies especially Facebook and Google. In 2016, EU came up with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). This is by far the most aggressive action taken by any government to rein in the immense power of these tech giants.
It sets stringent rules on how they can collect, store or use the personal data. It gives some power in the hands of the people to control their data and they will also know what data about them is getting collected. In case the companies don’t abide by the rules imposed under GDPR then the EU has the rights to slap them with massive fines.
Now, two European nations, Germany and France have hammered Facebook. This time around also it concerns Facebook’s data practices. The German competition regulator accused Facebook of using its influence in personal data market to squelch competition. The French privacy regulator, on the other hand, alleged that Facebook is taking the user data from WhatsApp without having the users’ consent.
Facebook has not made any comment on these two allegations. The working model that Facebook follows is offering its services for free and then collect user data, which can then be used for hyper-targeted advertising. It is this data dominance that help Facebook make billions and billions of dollars.
Now that Europe is after Facebook’s business model, it will definitely not be taken lightly by them. According to the CEO of digital trade association Digital Content Next, Jason Kint, “I think Facebook is taking it very seriously, and so is Google. Their interests and anybody that is in the third-party data collection business is paying a lot of attention to Europe. They’re less concerned about the U.S., where regulation has been headed in a different direction.”
Though it looks like that the U.S. can also change its policies in future but right now Europe is posing enough problems for Facebook to deal.