Facebook will soon allow users to remove all of those awkward and embarrassing posts. Well, users who are British citizens, that is.
As the United Kingdom prepares for ‘Brexit,’ a new law is taking shape to establish all citizen’s “right to be forgotten” on social media, particularly Facebook.
“Our measures are designed to support businesses in their use of data, and give consumers the confidence that their data is protected and those who misuse it will be held to account,” said the U.K.’s Digital Minister Matt Hancock when making a statement of intent of the new law.
This is the effort of British authorities to enshrined the European Union’s General Data Protection Rule (GDPR), the Europe’s standard for data protection that eventually will be dumped as the U.K. leaves the EU.
The law will affect how Facebook and other Internet giants handle the information and data of British citizens, and will force them to delate specific posts or data by user request with “narrow exemptions,” CNN reported.
As The Telegraph reported, the legislation also includes legal obligation of social media companies and platforms to take down or erase “inappropriate, bullying, harmful or illegal content.” In Britain, there is still a concern with how social media harms people’s career prospects and socialization.
“We want social media companies to do more to help redress the balance and will take action to make sure they do,” said Prime Minister Teresa May to The Telegraph. However, British authorities don’t want to scare tech entrepreneurs as they assure the legislation also will “help make Britain the best place in the world to start and run a digital business, and the safest place in the world for people to be online.”
Google battled this type of legislation, noting that the “right to be forgotten” was a form of censorship that allowed individuals to erase themselves from search results or social media.
At the heart of the legislation, the U.K. represents a close manifestation of one of the biggest fears of Internet giants: the battle to control users’ data.
“Brexit won’t change how consumer data is handled in the U.K. – there won’t be any reduction of rights or protection,” Stewart Room, legal expert on data protection at PwC, said to CNBC.