POLITICS
04/10/2018 03:48 pm ET Updated Apr 11, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg Says EU Users Have 'Different Sensibilities' On Data Protection

The Facebook CEO equivocated on enacting the same laws in the U.S.

Next month, the European Union will enact strict new data protection laws limiting what companies like Facebook can do with their users’ data. Would Facebook be open to something similar in the United States?

Depends when you ask.

A week ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a gaggle of reporters on a conference call that the answer was yes.

But on Tuesday, while testifying before the Senate judiciary and commerce committees, Zuckerberg’s answer was a bit more ambiguous. He said people in the U.S. and the EU have “different sensibilities” in response to questions on the matter from Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

Assuming Zuckerberg didn’t simply misspeak, his remarks suggest a quick reversal for the company ― and indeed, a reversal of Facebook’s own reversal.

Last Tuesday, a Reuters reporter concluded the company would “stop short” of supporting the EU laws globally after an interview with Zuckerberg. In his call with reporters the next day, however, Zuckerberg called the report inaccurate, stating the company had every intention of doing so, albeit with minor changes to conform to local laws.

And now, it seems, Facebook may be less certain about enacting those EU-like data protection laws after all ― because of “different sensibilities.” 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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