Facebook will shift its UK users onto agreements with the company’s corporate headquarters in California, a move that puts UK users not protected under the European privacy laws.
Facebook said there will be no change to the privacy controls or the services it offers UK customers.
Currently, UK users are governed by agreements with Facebook’s Irish headquarters, but this legal relationship will change following the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU).
“Facebook has had to make changes to respond to Brexit and will be transferring legal responsibilities and obligations for UK users from Facebook Ireland to Facebook Inc,” the social media giant said.
The changes will come into effect in 2021, and users will be notified by an update to Facebook’s terms of service in the first half of the year.
Facebook’s decision follows a similar move by Google in February. Facebook’s UK users will remain subject to UK privacy law, which will still largely mirror the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
GDPR is among the world’s strictest privacy regimes.
Privacy advocates have expressed concern that the UK might be tempted to water down its protections in the pursuit of free trade deals as it leaves the EU.