Social networking giant Facebook has agreed to adopt a new European Union (EU) data accord that allows personal information to be transferred to the US, potentially sparking yet another privacy row, the media reported.
Facebook has quietly signed the Privacy Shield – a controversial treaty that allows US technology companies to transfer EU citizens’ details abroad. It will apply to certain advertising data and its new Workplace service for businesses, the Telegraph UK reported on Saturday.
Privacy Shield, a replacement deal that was designed to provide extra safeguards for Europeans, came into force in July. Google and Microsoft have already adopted the treaty.
Facebook signed up at the end of September, although only two aspects of the social network use it.The first is Workplace, a special version of Facebook that allows company employees to communicate, which was launched last week.
The other is its “Ads and Measurement” technology that uses customer data supplied by other companies to target adverts.
Other user data is not covered by the treaty, although it can be transferred to the US under secondary legal measures, the report said.
“We have signed up two important parts of our business to the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework – Facebook at Work and our relevant Ads and Measurement services,” a Facebook spokesman confirmed the report.
Facebook’s adoption of the treaty is significant because the prior US-EU agreement, Safe Harbour which was abolished by the European Court of Justice as a direct result of legal action against the social network by privacy campaigners.
However, it is likely to lead to further scrutiny of the Privacy Shield deal from Facebook’s critics, the report stated.