Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) sent a letter to Facebook Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg requesting him to specify which aspects of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will and will not be implemented for users in the United States and around the world.

It was encouraging to learn that Mark Zuckerberg has embraced the ‘spirit‘ of the European Union’s new law on data privacy but his intention falls flat when he has not committed to this type of privacy guarantee — that would deliver much-needed assurance — to users in the United States and across the globe.

Bobby L. Rush
Bobby L. Rush

Now is not the time for any ambiguity on what steps will be taken to protect our personal data. Americans need clarity and should not have to wonder if their data is being shared, sold, or stolen.

Facebook’s hesitation to apply privacy rules should not be determined by what is best for their bottom line or geography but instead what is best for their two billion users.

The full letter can be read below:

April 4, 2018

Mr. Mark Zuckerberg
Founder and CEO
Facebook
1 Hacker Way
Menlo Park, CA 94025-1456

Mr. Zuckerberg:

I was pleased to read that in your interview with Reuters on April 3, 2018, you agreed “in spirit” with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that is to take effect on May 25, 2018.

I was dismayed, however, to learn that you have yet to specify which aspects of the GDPR will and will not be implemented for users in the United States and around the world, who remain largely skeptical of data-driven companies.

While I understand that a large function of this is attributable to the fact that Facebook is still nailing down details on this I would like to request clarification on what you mean when you said that it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing.

Specifically, I would like information on the following items:

  1. What provisions of the GDPR will be implemented in the United States?
  2. What provisions of the GDPR will not be implemented in the United States, and why?
  3. What is the anticipated timeline for implementing provisions of the GDPR in the United States?
  4. When will you notify users of Facebook’s new privacy policies? How soon before, or after, implementation of these policies will users be notified?
  5. How will users be notified of Facebook’s new privacy policies?  Will Facebook run a global ad campaign as it does when it announces new features?

As I am sure you agree, the safety and privacy of individuals’ data is paramount and should not be limited by geography. I look forward to your response to this inquiry and to working with you on this issue.

Sincerely,

Bobby L. Rush
Member of Congress

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