Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, whose company is the subject of at least seven separate data protection investigations under GDPR by the Irish Data Protection Commission, has now claimed he agrees with the new regulation.
In an opinion piece published by The Washington Post over the weekend – and reposted on his Facbeook page – Zuckerberg called for new laws in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability, claiming tech firms need help from legislators to battle Internet threats.
He added: “People around the world have called for comprehensive privacy regulation in line with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, and I agree. I believe it would be good for the Internet if more countries adopted regulation such as GDPR as a common framework.”
However, most observers have seen his call as a cynical attempt to prevent governments and regulators around the world creating new rules Facebook cannot influence.
Having lobbied hard against GDPR, and resisted repeated calls to appear in front of British MPs to explain the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it appears Zuckerberg is skating on thin ice.
Damian Collins, who chairs the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media & Sport select committee, said: “Mark Zuckerberg now says he wants to discuss internet regulation with lawmakers around the world. He should start by finally accepting @commonscms invitation, or come to our international grand committee in Ottawa in May to which he’s already been invited.”
And Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline summed up the general sentiment by tweeting: “Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t get to make the rules anymore. Facebook is under criminal and civil investigation. It has shown it cannot regulate itself. Does anyone even want his advice?”
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