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Facebook is severing 1.5bn users’ access to GDPR

Facebook will next month cut off 1.5 billion users – 70 per cent of its user base – from the EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation.

The new data protection laws are among the toughest in the world, and introduce fines of up to four per cent of annual global turnover for companies which breach them.

Facebook’s move, reported by Reuters and confirmed by the social media giant, follows weeks of negative headlines about the company’s approach to data protection in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Under Facebook’s previous terms of service, users who do not live in the US or Canada are able to file complaints with the Irish data protection regulator. This is because the company set up its international headquarters in Ireland in 2008.

Following the changes, however, users will have to submit complaints to their local courts or data protection authorities instead.

Stephen Deadman, Facebook’s deputy chief global privacy officer, said in a statement: “The GDPR and EU consumer law set out specific rules for terms and data policies which we have incorporated for EU users.”

He added: “We have been clear that we are offering everyone who uses Facebook the same privacy protections, controls and settings, no matter where they live. These updates do not change that.”

A survey published yesterday by Tech London Advocates found that a majority of London tech executives (51 per cent) think public trust in the industry is at an all time low.