Facebook moves UK users to dodge EU privacy laws

Facebook has found a way to move its British users out of reach of Europe's privacy laws after Brexit.

The social network will shift all of its users in the UK into agreements with the corporate headquarters in California.

That'll see them moving out of their current relationship with Facebook's Irish unit.

Google said it was making a similar move back in February.

Those companies and others have European head offices in Dublin - but the UK's exit from the EU will change its legal relationship with Ireland, which is staying in the bloc.

According to people familiar with the company, Facebook is making the change partly because the EU privacy regime is among the world’s strictest.

The U.S. Cloud Act, passed in 2018, set a way for the UK and US to more easily exchange data about cloud computing users.

Now privacy advocates fear the UK may move to an even looser data privacy regime, especially as it pursues a trade deal with the U.S.

Some also worry that UK Facebook users could more easily be subject to surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies or data requests from law enforcement.

Facebook will inform users of the shift in the next six months, giving them the option to stop using the site and its Instagram and WhatsApp services.