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What the GDPR means for Facebook, the EU and you

Everything you need to know about the European Union’s new data privacy law, regardless of where you live

The European Union has a new law on the books for protecting data privacy. It’s the General Data Protection Regulation, more commonly called the GDPR. This Friday, it goes into effect in the EU’s 28 member states.

The law changes the rules for companies that collect, store or process large amounts of information on residents of the EU, requiring more openness about what data they have and who they share it with.

That means you, Facebook.

It also means any company with a digital presence in the EU (which for the time being still includes the UK) will have to comply with the law or face steep penalties.

The deadline to comply with the law has been looming for two years, ever since the European Parliament adopted it in April 2016. When the Cambridge Analytica scandal at Facebook emerged in March, privacy advocates found an eye-catching example of why internet users might want more control over who can access their data.

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