back to article As UK breaks away from Europe, Facebook tells Brits: You'll all be Californians soon

As Brits wake up to Brexit next month, most will no longer find themselves stuck on an island in the Atlantic but ensconced in sunny California, courtesy of Facebook. The social media giant has decided that, legally speaking, it makes much more sense for UK residents to stop officially residing in Europe and will pile all …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "once Britain tries to get a bilateral trade agreement with America and has to start putting things on the table."

    Of course the UK will also want to be able to trade with the EU so it will need data protection here equivalent to the EU's. If Boris can't reassure Biden that the Irish arrangements are a satisfactory implementation of the Good Friday agreement there won't be a US trade agreement so he might as well stick with EU standards and pass it off as part of that implementation.

    I wonder how long it will be before Boris declares he's got Brexit's done, his work here is complete, ticks off "been PM" on his private check list and bails out to let somebody else deal with all the inherent contradictions and unsolved problems, rather like Cummings.

    1. Marco van de Voort

      services

      Ad services are services, which wouldn't be covered in a deal. UK sovereignty fully applies here.

      And even if it would, it would cover moving EU citizens data to UK datacenters, and nothing about 3rd party state citizens(Brits) elsewhere.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: services

        This is just another story about nothing. There'll be plenty more once we leave properly.

      2. mistersaxon

        Re: services

        So let me get this straight - you say it will be simple and cost effective to apply two (or more) different data protection regimes on a per-record basis and that the EU and US will both expect that and both be fine with it? What about people with dual citizenship (to pick one trivial example of why it won’t work)?

        Ad services are still subject to data protection regulation and “British sov’rinty” is not the issue, the issue is still data protection. But, as the article suggests, both Google and Facebook are big enough to be able to basically ignore our wishes and certainly they can afford to spaff many millions on legal actions if they think they might win. Only a huge class action lawsuit could give them any reason to reconsider, really.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: services

          "What about people with dual citizenship (to pick one trivial example of why it won’t work)?"

          Location is what matters. GDPR applies to anyone living in the EU regardless of citizenship. It does not apply outside the EU regardless of citizenship.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: services

            You are absolutely 100% wrong about that.

            GDPR applies to EU "persons". As a UK citizen living in the US and accessing data *from* the US I am 100% covered by GDPR until the end of this year.

            That is what makes all of these laws so complex and difficult to enforce and comply with - each has a different definition of who they apply to - but almost none of them use physical location of the data subject.

            1. iowe_iowe

              Re: services

              Not sure about that, chap - I am reading this as stating that you need to be an EU Individual, in the EU.

              The GDPR applies to:

              a company or entity which processes personal data as part of the activities of one of its branches established in the EU, regardless of where the data is processed; or

              a company established outside the EU and is offering goods/services (paid or for free) or is monitoring the behaviour of individuals in the EU.

              https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/reform/rules-business-and-organisations/application-regulation/who-does-data-protection-law-apply_en

              1. pomegranate

                Re: services

                My reading of the above is that every datum should have a reference to the identities and current GDP locations of any related persons, and the current location of any office which has offered a good or service to that identity. Might as well update a pointer to the geographical location of the CPU and RAM chip running the current process.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: services

              Maybe i didn't write that clearly enough. It applies to data subjects in the EU irrespective of citizenship. It does not apply to data subjects not in the EU. It applies irrespective of the location of the processing.

              From the EDPB notes:

              The wording of Article 3(2) refers to “personal data of data subjects who are in the Union”. The application of the targeting criterion is therefore not limited by the citizenship, residence or other type of legal status of the data subject whose personal data are being processed. Recital 14 confirms this interpretation and states that “[t]he protection afforded by this Regulation should apply to natural persons, whatever their nationality or place of residence, in relation to the processing of their personal data”.

              "Residence", I think, means where the data subject normally lives. If I visit en EU country and stay in an hotel there it wouldn't make me resident there - my residence would remain my home. If I did a Dabsy & went to live in France then I would be resident there.

    2. iron Silver badge

      I give him till March at the latest.

    3. billat29

      "I wonder how long it will be before Boris declares he's got Brexit's done ... and bails out"

      Soon. After moaning about how little he was paid as foreign secretary, he has been whining about how little he makes as PM. Plan was always to slam dunk Brexit, sell us for a cheap deal to Trumpistan and take lucrative job writing the odd essay / doing lecture tour for some billionaire sponsor.

      That's gone a bit wrong - but he'll be off soon.

      However, meet the new boss ........

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Cue golden parachute.

    4. Efer Brick

      hasn't he already said; "offski in the spring"?

  2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    privacy, what privacy?

    The 'not covered by GDPR' bit is confusing me. I was under the impression that GDPR had been absorbed into British law to be conformant with European data directives? The British law side of it does not disappear on Brexit ... or does data protection legislation die and has no replacement? If it does die that deserves far more of a shout scream and run around like a headless chicken headline than Faceache and Gobble being opportunistic ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: privacy, what privacy?

      "I was under the impression that GDPR had been absorbed into British law to be conformant with European data directives?"

      Correct - it's the Data Protection Act 2018, and it does not turn into a pumpkin on 1st January 2021.

      1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

        Re: privacy, what privacy?

        Is is, however, unlikely to be enforced to any real extent.

        Sadly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: privacy, what privacy?

          All very confusing. Facebook obviously see something here so perhaps they think they can get around UK law with some kind of Safe Harbour which stays valid as thee ECJ ruling now longer applies?

          So Boris can say look we're keeping the protection while hiding behind an ineffective (un)Safe Harbour agreement?

        2. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: privacy, what privacy?

          Why not? Anyone can make a complaint to the ICO. High profile ones wont juat disappear as they will head to the supreme court if need be.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: privacy, what privacy?

            Assuming that Max Schrems will still have any interest in continuing to fight for the data protection rights of citizens of what is soon to become a very insular small island «sob», we could probably all do a lot worse than donate to noyb and hope that they take on some UK cases.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: privacy, what privacy?

          "Is is, however, unlikely to be enforced to any real extent."

          Exactly! Unlike EU members who can bring the full force of one of the worlds biggest trading conglomerates, the UK will be scratching for anything it can get. Threaten the US with trade embargoes? They'll just laugh and tell us to implement whatever we want and then cease trading with us. Barely a blip on the US balance sheet.

          1. Toni the terrible

            Re: privacy, what privacy?

            and so we leave NATO too, and the USA can take back its troops on UK soil. It will please Putin and that Chinese Premier Guy

            1. martinusher Silver badge

              Re: privacy, what privacy?

              Last time I looked China was about 6000 miles from the UK (and doesn't have any shoreline on either Atlantic)..

              I just don't know how to get through to people that this Cold War 'them'/'us' mindset is doing us immeasurable damage. As the WOPR put in in the movie "War Games" -- "The best way to win is not to play".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: privacy, what privacy?

        Facebook can't take on the might of the EU, but they reckon they can take on the much weaker UK.

        They'll do what they want, and if there is any issue, lobbyists will fix it.

        It's all about the uk taking back control......

      3. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: privacy, what privacy?

        C/O the Times, the vacant baroness of somewhere for something (the ex Tory-digital minister) was looking forward to the free for all on data processing to come January. I would not trust the Uk government as far as I could throw the tossers. Indeed we did not - hence a new modest (26 person) ops group in Germany. Shame those jobs could not have been retained in the UK.

    2. PerlyKing Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: privacy, what privacy?

      From The Fine Article:

      And the “UK GDPR” part? Well, let’s see just how G and P that is once Britain tries to get a bilateral trade agreement with America and has to start putting things on the table.

      All part of the wonderful world of being in sole charge of our own destiny, taking our rightful place on the world stage, etc.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: privacy, what privacy?

      Any mention of EU citizen or resident is no longer valid after UK leaves the EU. Nor any bilateral agreement between EU and US will still be valid.

      The GDPR itself will no longer be valid for UK citizen data, only the UK law will apply.

      1. whileI'mhere

        Re: privacy, what privacy?

        But the UK law currently makes the same provisions as the EU law. I fail to see how Faceberg thinks this is legit until the UK law actually changes.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: privacy, what privacy?

          As mentioned above, any ECJ rulings only apply to EU members so Safe Harbour is now valid for UK data again until and unless a UK court says it isn't.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: privacy, what privacy?

          You have to read the whole The Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/419/made/data.pdf) to understand what is the situation after Brexit, especially Part 3. I bet Facebook lawyers went through it dutifully. Does it makes the same provision of the EU GDPR still?

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: privacy, what privacy?

            Does it makes the same provision of the EU GDPR still?

            Pretty much I think, ie from Part 3, which echoes other transfer language-

            74A Transfers based on adequacy regulations

            (1) The Secretary of State may by regulations specify any of the following which theSecretary of State considers ensures an adequate level of protection of personal data—

            (a)a third country,

            (b)a territory or one or more sectors within a third country,

            (c)an international organisation, or

            (d)a description of such a country, territory, sector or organisation.

            (2) For the purposes of this Part of this Act, a transfer of personal data to a third country oran international organisation is based on adequacy regulations if, at the time of the transfer,regulations made under this section are in force which specify, or specify a descriptionwhich include..

            So it's UK GDPR & transposing the EU stuff into national legislation. So not convinced Facepalm can do this, unless the Secretary of State has deemed California or the US 'adequate'.. Which could mean Facepalm's pre-empting any potential trade deal including adequacy, or assuming the ICO won't object. Or slap a fine on Facepalm.. which would seem doable if the transfer's in breach of UK GDPR.

            But as you say, Facepalm's counsel has probably crawled all over this and figured it's worth the risk vs leaving UK data where it is, and covered by UK/EU adequacy inherited from EU GDPR. And on the plus side, assuming the UK can & will fine, the Treasury gets to keep the money rather than the EU.

      2. Dave559 Silver badge

        Re: privacy, what privacy?

        "The GDPR itself will no longer be valid for UK citizen data, only the UK law will apply."

        The GDPR isn't a law as such, it's a Directive, as are all other EU Directives. And Directives have little meaning in practice until they are enacted as law in (each of) the member states of the EU, because, shock, horror, contrary to whatever tosh may have been scrawled on the side of a bus or elsewhere, each member state is a sovereign nation.

        So the GDPR only practically exists as such inasmuch as each EU nation adopted it into their own laws (as the UK did, as it was also a member state). This is why cases against data harvesting giants tend to take place in Ireland, under the Irish law with which they implemented the GDPR, as that tends to be where those companies have their EU base.

        You are right that if a further EU data protection directive were to come into being, it would have no further effect on UK law, unless the UK willingly chose to pass a law mimicking the directive (as it might do if it wanted to allow any of its businesses, assuming we will still have any, to be able to offer data hosting services for EU companies (or citizens) in the future).

    4. iowe_iowe

      Re: privacy, what privacy?

      Sorry - I think it kind of does... This statement from The European Data Protection Board was released on Tuesday:

      The EDPB wishes to remind all stakeholders that the transition period for the United

      Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union will end on 31 December 2020. This means

      that as of 1 January 2021, the UK will no longer apply the GDPR to the processing of personal

      data and a separate legal framework regarding data protection and privacy will be in force in

      the UK.

      Unhelpfully they don't say exactly what is then in force, but I would be concerned..

      https://edpb.europa.eu/sites/edpb/files/files/file1/edpb_statement_20201215_brexit_en.pdf

  3. macjules Silver badge
    Devil

    "There will be no change to ..."

    That always, but always means, "watch out suckers".

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    And in the small print

    {in 1pt white on white} will be the condition

    - If you want to file suit against Facebook Inc then the case must be filed in person in the Northern District of California Court venue in Fort Bragg, California.

    Just to make it hard to take them to court you understand.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And in the small print....Fort Bragg is actually rather nice..

      ..but the Federal Court in those neck of the (deep) woods is actually in Eureka, another nice little town.

      But as Facebook are in Mountain View any Federal case would be heard in either the closest Federal court, in San Jose, or the main one, in San Francisco.

      Now if you want an obscure county seat to have to file lawsuits in you cant beat Yreka up in Siskiyou county. Just north of all the weirdness in Mt Shasta and last stop after Weed, CA before it goes all totally Oregon. They wont let you pump your own gas up there. Weirdos.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: And in the small print....Fort Bragg is actually rather nice..

        Note that it is not California that doesn't let you pump your own gas, it's Oregon. And then only in counties with more than 40,000 people. Here's a map, just in case you might be traveling through.

        Yreka, CA is a metropolis. For a truly obscure California county seat, try Alturas (population 2800ish), in Modoc County (pop. 8800ish).

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: And in the small print....Fort Bragg is actually rather nice..

          I thought it was New Jersey that required all gas pumps to be full service, by law...

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: And in the small print....Fort Bragg is actually rather nice..

            From my experience in New Jersey (several times per year), they are not "Full Service". All they do is pump your gas for you, and begrudgingly at that. They will not check air, water, tires, wash the windows, etc (unless you are pretty, or a known big tipper, of course).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And in the small print....Fort Bragg is actually rather nice..

          The "up there" was Oregon..

          Every Oregon county along I-5 and the coast seems to be no self pump territory. Which is what I have driven. My stateline to stateline record on I-5 through Oregon is still just a little over 4 hours. And the locals were still overtaking me on the freeway. I like driving in Oregon.

          I know Alturas, which is why I chose Yreka. Its not the size that matters, its the local ambience, so to speak.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And in the small print....Fort Bragg is actually rather nice..

          (Different AC)

          Wait, I read the first AC post in this thread (about Eureka, Yreka) and was convinced that was jake, as that's the sort of "Prairie Home Companion" / "Up All Night" random, but detailed, local knowledge I would expect from jake, and then I was surprised to see it wasn't…

          Unless it actually is also jake, having an under the radar conversation with himself… :-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And in the small print....Fort Bragg is actually rather nice..

            Nope, not Jake. Just another long time California resident who got their first drivers license when Reagan was still president, the LA basin still had an economy that was wider and deeper than France, and San Francisco still had the heavy engineering manufacturing industry that was founded during the hard-rock mining boom of the 1860's. Lived here so long that I know the first question you ask someone when they say their ancestors were '49'ers is: Cape Horn or Panama?

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: And in the small print....Fort Bragg is actually rather nice..

        "But as Facebook are in Mountain View any Federal case would be heard in either the closest Federal court, in San Jose, or the main one, in San Francisco."

        I want to sue Facebook. Do you know the way to San Jose?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: And in the small print....Fort Bragg is actually rather nice..

          That's the second time someone's referenced that 'orrible song here recently.

          Just so you know, even Dionne herself hates that awful bit of popular garbage.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yes.. I do know the way to San Jose..

          Now oddly enough the answer to the question "Do you know the way to San Jose?" can be divined from the lyrics. The answer is - Head for the nearest Hollywood Freeway on-ramp, most likely Highland or Cahuenga, then its north to the Ventura Freeway, west on the Ventura Freeway which is 101 North. Then its keep on the 101 North. So Ventura, San Barbara, SLO etc through Salinas and eventually you get to the 280/680 split, which is almost downtown San Jose. After that you are on your own.

          Now if you were in a real hurry I suppose stay on the Hollywood Freeway until you hit the Golden State Freeway and I-5 then take I-5 up the Central Valley till you hit the 580 in the Easy Bay and loop back on the 680 to San Jose. Faster, but not as scenic a drive.

          As you might guess I have far too much time on my hands while listening to 1960's pop records.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Yes.. I do know the way to San Jose..

            From I5 it's a lot quicker to hang a left on 152 (at Los Baños ... helpful hint: first hang a right and fuel up in town before proceeding! 152 is a steep climb, your car WILL suck gas like there is no tomorrow, and the next gas is in Gilroy.), then a right on 101. San Jose is just North of that intersection.

            If you are feeling adventurous, instead turn off I5 at Patterson and take 130 west. Again, be sure to fill up on fuel (and snacks) at the Flying J just east of I5, you will not find another gas station until you get to your destination. Del Puereto Canyon Road is a piece of Old California, before the wilderness was destroyed by the modern world. Eventually, at the rather imaginatively named "The Junction", turn right and take the world renowned Mines Road into Livermore, or left to take Anderson Valley Road to San Jose.

            On the way to San Jose you will drive right over the top of Mount Hamilton (4,354 ft), and the world famous Lick Observatory with it's 36" refractor and 120 inch reflector. Be sure to time your trip so you can stop and visit (picnic), chances are you'll not pass that way again ... Lots of history to be seen on the grounds and through the windows, even if the buildings are not open (Covid). You can drop a postcard into the box and have it postmarked from Lick if you like.

            If you are a biker from out of the area, you might have heard of The Junction and the three roads that fan out from it. The stories are true, they are all world-class motorcycle roads, similar and yet very, very different. All offer a fun, if quite technical ride. Hint: Even if you usually poo-poo such advice, on these three roads I'd advise never riding outside your sightlines. You never know what you'll find on the road around the next blind corner. In my case, it was a VW Bug on it's roof, still spinning slowly with it's occupants still inside. I managed to not run into it, and didn't drop the bike ... I helped the kids out of the car, we rolled it back over onto it's wheels, and off they went. Bruised & battered, but laughing ... all's well that ends well :-) Sadly, the Junction itself is closed (Covid).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Yes.. I do know the way to San Jose..and further afield.

              Well with those detours it sounds like 101 would be faster than I-5. I've done the Los Banos route to I-5 but on the whole I think I've only done I-5 south to LA twice in the last 35 years. Now the 101 , I've driven that so many times that you can show me a random Google street view of any section in either direction and I can immediately tell you exactly where it is. My I-5 experience is almost totally 80, 505, then I-5 north to the Pacific Northwest. I've driven that route enough times over the years to be pretty good at random Google street view too but not to the same degree as for the 101.

              For me driving on the 101 through San Luis Obispo County and northern Santa Barbara County through the undulating grassland / live oak landscape is about as good as it gets. If I am not in a hurry I sometimes cut across at Prunedale to take 1 down Big Sur then cut back across to rejoin at Paso Robles. Although for the truly religious experience while driving nothing beats seeing Mt Shasta from I-5 at sunset heading south. Its the only mountain I know which not only has presence but personality. Which glows with an immense aura at sunset. I can understand why there are so many UFO sightings in the area, and other weird stuff. Mt Shasta on occasion looks likes it is an interloper from some other dimension.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Yes.. I do know the way to San Jose..and further afield.

                Somewhat strangely, I'm quite the opposite ... From here in Sonoma, I take 12 to 5 (yes, through the Delta), then bolt down 5 to LA and San Diego. Return trip is the reverse. It's the fastest way to get to, and then get away from the hell-hole, if I'm not flying.

                I'll take 101 about as far South as Solvang or Santa Barbara occasionally.

                On the other hand, if I'm heading North, I like the drive up 101. Much more scenic over-all (once you get North of Santa Rosa). Relaxing. Allows the mind to breathe. Yes, it takes longer. But in my mind it's worth it.

                The UFO sightings are probably an artifact of the State of Jefferson's biggest cash-crop.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Yes.. I do know the way to San Jose..and further afield.

                  I'm in the City and have long time connections with the Central Coast so its always been 101 for me. So my entrance to LA has always been the Ventura Freeway. Over the Conejo Grade. I've been driving LA so long that I still call all the freeways by name, not number. Still no idea what the numbers of most of them are. But tell me take the San Diego south down to the Santa Monica then keep east until almost at the Golden State and I know exactly where that is.

                  I actually like LA. Every now and then I watch the movie Repo Man just to remind what LA was like when I first got to know it. Apart from the flying car scene its basically a documentary. I met all those people back then. Knew people just like that. In pretty much the same way the Big Lebowski is almost a documentary of LA in the 1990's.

                  My I-5 north drives are always road trips to Seattle and beyond. So a straight through in 14 hours or so. Longer when the speed limit was 55. Never dawdled on 101 as most times I am doing a road trip its fogged in. As I discovered the hard way the one time I tried to drive it.

                  Sonoma I know well. Spent many happy afternoons picnicking under the trees in the main square. My favorite place in the outer North Bay.

                  Funny you should mention the State of Jefferson. I was reading something recently that said the declaration of independence, or separation from the state of California, actually stood an outside chance of succeeding. using the West Virginia precedent. But we will never know due to their very unfortunate timing of the official declaration. December 7'th 1941. Outside events intervened, as you might say, so no 49'th state.

    2. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: And in the small print

      It's much more likely that there is a clause setting aside rights to take legal action altogether, and instead committing you to binding arbitration. I don't have a Facebook account, so I can't be sure.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: And in the small print

        In the US, where contracts can sometimes override your rights, maybe, but clauses like that are not legal in the UK.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge
          Unhappy

          Re: And in the small print

          Not yet, wait a little...

    3. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: And in the small print

      Not really, it means facebook will need an office in the UK as well as in EU. One to deal with UK GDPR and one for EU GDPR. It is still in UK law.

      Data can live anywhere as long as it is compliant. If not, file with ICO, they will deal with it.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: And in the small print

        "... file with ICO, they will deal with it."

        Maybe, eventually, for certain values of "deal with".

  5. msknight Silver badge

    I've already told my family and friends...

    ...that I'm not posting on faceache any more. Have curated my posts right down. One day, faceache will be replaced, like others before it. There are enough other services like Twitter, skype and Discord to survive happily without faceache.

    1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

      Re: I've already told my family and friends...

      And they will be better how, exactly?

      Posting here is the limit of my (anti) social media activity. I could easily give that up too. Anytime. Just watch.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: I've already told my family and friends...

        "Posting here is the limit of my (anti) social media activity. I could easily give that up too. Anytime. Just watch."

        So true, looks like I'll miss the FB revolution... never got involved, never will.

    2. Circadian

      Re: I've already told my family and friends...

      @msknight

      Might be worth “poisoning the well” putting a bunch of junk into the system before deleting as much as you can (it’s not like it actually gets removed from f*c*book’s data hive, so messing it up a bit is about the best that can be done).

      Good luck with dropping the f-word!

  6. Swordfish1

    Tell Zuckerberg, to go and do one - totally unacceptable. I wont sign any FB agreement regarding this, and if its not offered, then its illegal, under our laws. If as I suspect he takes no notice - simple - dump FB

    1. Graham 32

      Is that because you won't sign any Facebook agreement or are you the person who actually reads the Ts&Cs?

      1. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        That one guy

        > are you the person who actually reads the Ts&Cs?

        No, that's me.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "its illegal, under our laws."

      For now, The implication in the article is that Boris or his successor will be pressured into changing those laws to get a trade deal. Having left the EU we'll be fully in control of making any changes needed when negotiating a US trade deal from a position of extreme weakness.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        To some extent, that depends on who we most need or want a trade deal with. Currently, we trade a massive amount more with the EU than the US. It might be to our benefit, at least in the short to near term, to make sure we get an EU trade deal, however unlikely that may look right now. Bending over for a US trade deal will almost guarantee no future comprehensive free trade deal with the EU or souring any we have by then. The fundamental difference between the US and the EU are pretty much insurmountable at the moment. The US is very much money and business oriented while the EU is, at least on the surface, more people oriented. Just look at the pandemic responses. The UK and EU have seriously risked their economies to save lives and support people out of work with strict preventative measure and lock-downs while the US seems to be more concerned over their economy and logjammed by political infighting over whether to spend more money helping people, many States acting like it's business as usual.

        1. Captain Hogwash

          Re: The fundamental difference between the US and the EU

          arises from the difference between having your cities destroyed by air bombing raids or not, I suspect.

        2. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

          You really think your getting a trade deal with this incoming Administration? More likely pressured to ignore the will of your people and re-join the EU. The US Left was and still is fully against Brexit and will try to use whatever clout they can to destroy it!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Oh dear, you've been getting your US news from American right-wing web sites haven't you?

            There is no organizational US "left wing" to speak of. The Democratic Party in the US that just won the presidency would be considered to be center-right in most other countries of the world. There are maybe a half dozen or so D Representatives who might me considered center-left by international standards. Biden would be a conservative in the UK or a Christian Democrat in Germany.

            It's only by the far-right extremist stance of the Republican party (far to the right of any elected representatives in most of the rest of the world except Hungary, Poland, and Russia) that the Democrats could be considered left-ish - but great swathes of the US media appear to think they are Scargill-style socialists.

            Having said which - people of Irish heritage are an important electoral group in the NE of the US and in some other cities. They tend to lean much more Republican than Loyalist and Biden wants to appeal to them. Which is what makes Brexit dead in the water to the incoming administration- because there's no way to reconcile Brexit with the Good Friday Agreement.

    3. Danny 14 Silver badge

      It iant illegal under our laws. You can put your data wherever the hell you like, it simply has to comply with GDPR.

      AWS, Azure all have US and EU servers, your data lives on both already. They comply with GDPR.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        The essence of the problem is that if the US govt can get its claws into a company with access to the data GDPR becomes a no-op. No such company can comply with GDPR. That's why the various attempts at privacy fig-leaves have been overturned by the ECJ.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "AWS, Azure all have US and EU servers, your data lives on both already. They comply with GDPR."

        Well, they claim that they do, but given that UnSafe Harbor and Privacy UnShield got pointed at as the emperor's flimsily invisible new clothes that they are, these are very debatable claims.

  7. AlanSh

    It's a fait accompli situation.

    I somehow feel that FB, Google etc. don't actually care that the UK still abides by EU GDPR rules. They see that we have come out of the EU and therefore all our data is up fro grabs. Boris & Co haven't realised that they are doing this (and probably don't give a damn) so our data will move.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Facebook would just ignore UK rules after 1 January. If they get into trouble they could always make a donation to the Conservative Party to make their legal troubles go away.

      “A fantastically corrupt country” - David Cameron

      1. boblongii

        Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

        Then vote for someone else. Take some bloody responsibility.

        1. Derek Law

          Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

          Have you met FPTP? I've always voted for someone else.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

          This is the UK, the last time the ruling party was supported by a majority of voters was 1935.

          1. Tony W

            Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

            That's the way we like it. In the referendum on voting systems less than 10 years ago, Labour didn't recommend change and there was a huge majority against it.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

              You do know that the options on the referendum were to retain the status quo or choose the most convoluted and unfair version of proportional representation ever invented. It wasn't a choice. It was an actual rigged vote.

              1. Nissemus

                Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

                The Alternative Vote isn't proportional representation at all, and in some cases produces an even more unfair overall result than FPTP.

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

                  Yes, thanks, you are right. Alternative vote was what I was thinking but my fingers typed proportional representation for some weird Machiavellian hi-jinks of their own :-)

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

                  Surely the Alternative Vote system would at least have been a step in the right direction, and could have been changed to a better system at some later point?

                  FPTP is just so unrepresentative for, usually, the majority of voters in a constituency. At least with AV you ensure that you get some say in electing one of your gradually less preferred candidates, rather than a single all or nothing choice. I don't doubt that it's possible to end up with a bizarre result, but surely it must be quite rare, and very unlikely to happen in more than a handful of constituencies?

        3. jake Silver badge

          Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

          The British will never take responsibility for their own Government as long as the have the Americans to bitch about. Not enough hours in the day.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

            Well they can't blame the EU for much longer so you guys are next in line to blame.

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

        You never know, there could be some new rules waiting in the wings, ready for the New Year when Britain will be back in control.

        I wonder if Boris and Matt will have offices next to Cleggy?

        They'll be able to chat over old times in parliament by the water cooler.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's a fait accompli situation.

        "I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Facebook would just ignore UK rules after 1 January. If they get into trouble they could always make a donation to the Conservative Party to make their legal troubles go away."

        Well, they already bought Nick Clegg. One wonders if there is anyone he could phone "for a friendly chat" if deemed needed by his master?

  8. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    Good. Wasnt GDPR the reason dangerous videos of self harm couldnt be automatically screened out from viewers? GDPR limiting the technology able to be used at figuring this stuff out.

    1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Citation needed I'd say. That connection sounds utterly bonkers to me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm

        It's codejunky, spinning an anti-eu story by the telegraph.

        Instagram claimed that because GDPR stops them from unrestricted scanning of everyones private data, their algorithms are less likely to pick up issues.

        It's rather like claiming chimneys are dirtier because we no longer let children climb inside them, or that medical progress is being hampered because doctors aren't allowed to experiment on prisoners.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          @AC

          Actually I linked the BBC but have seen it a few times on a number of sites. Feel free to look, and tag your post with your name for posterity

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hmm

            Are you able to link to just one story which says exactly which recital in GDPR or which schedule in the UK DPA 2018 causes the problem?

            I'm pretty sure you aren't.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          "Instagram claimed that because GDPR stops them from unrestricted scanning of everyones private data, their algorithms are less likely to pick up issues."

          Rice-Davies applies.

        3. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          AC> It's rather like claiming chimneys are dirtier because we no longer let children climb inside them

          Oh. Is it like spreading that story that millions of Turks/Muslims will flood into the UK if you don't vote for brexit?

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @Greybearded old scrote

        I agree-

        https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54903428

        There are a few articles on it. Something about it being a grey area of GDPR.

        1. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo

          Re: Hmm

          This (the linked story on the BBC) sounds a bit like the usual FUD around the GDPR in general, and a bit like a half-excuse for not doing a better job.

          In Austria, around the introduction of the GDPR, there was a discussion on whether door bell labels on apartment blocks violate the GDPR - I kid you not.

          The "reasoning" was along the lines, that the listing a resident's name along with the door number on a publicly accessable site, i.e. the door to the apartment block, constitutes a breach of the GDPR.

          If stuff is uploaded to any anti-social network, then the anti-social network has all rights to process this stuff, let alone sell it to other interested parties.

          How a human review by the anti-social network, or one of its sub-contractors, is hindered by the GDPR is beyond my imagination.

          There may be some areas of the GDPR which are not readily understood, or even ambiguous. However, if a anti-social network is allowed to use, or even sell, the stuff that was uploaded, content moderation by either algorithm or (poor philippine) human content reviewers can in no way be hindered.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            @ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo

            "This (the linked story on the BBC) sounds a bit like the usual FUD around the GDPR in general, and a bit like a half-excuse for not doing a better job."

            It could be. Or it could be true considering how hard the EU is going after american companies, that they dont want to give a grey area for the EU to try and fine them for fun.

            "In Austria, around the introduction of the GDPR, there was a discussion on whether door bell labels on apartment blocks violate the GDPR - I kid you not."

            Ffs. The thing with GDPR was the mountain of FUD and genuine fear of non-specifics which would rely on court cases to solve. Trying to find the middle of such was blurred and probably caused half the confusion.

          2. NoKangaroosInAustria

            Re: Hmm

            "In Austria, around the introduction of the GDPR, there was a discussion on whether door bell labels on apartment blocks violate the GDPR - I kid you not."

            Austrian here - I can definitely confirm that this is a thing. Since spring/summer this year (2020), my Apartment complex has removed all name tags from the door buzzers of all the buildings.

            1. H in The Hague Silver badge

              Re: Hmm

              "Austrian here - I can definitely confirm that this is a thing. Since spring/summer this year (2020), my Apartment complex has removed all name tags from the door buzzers of all the buildings."

              Must be a local thing - apartment block buzzers happily displaying names here in NL.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      Hey, I thought you were all for free speech and non-EU censorship!

      Make up your mind!

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @AC

        "Hey, I thought you were all for free speech and non-EU censorship!"

        Its not EU censorship. Actually I dont think I used the word censorship at all as its to do with legalities of sharing personal information and making judgements on health (my understanding of the issue).

        "Make up your mind!"

        Go on, tag your name so we can see the troll/idiot

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          Thank you for letting us see the one.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      Wasnt (sic) GDPR the reason dangerous videos of self harm couldnt (sic) be automatically screened out from viewers?

      No, the only problems moderators have with user-generated content under GDPR is how to remove it if the user requests it, because it's the first time many online forums will have had to look at how to actually delete posts since they're finally legally obliged to.

      They have no problems automatically screening data but they do have problems automatically selling data.

      In other words, it seems like yet more antisocial network FUD and something entirely expected from a Facebook product.

    4. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Sometimes, someone on here seems obnoxious enough that I feel it's worth taking the time to go back and make sure I haven't missed downvoting any of their other posts.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @Hubert Cumberdale

        Ahhhh. I noticed a few people asking who was doing this and I noticed some of mine seemed so affected. If it keeps you entertained why not.

        1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          And thanks for reciprocating! Although I have to say, it doesn't look like you needed much help from me. I do wonder why you even post here when the vast majority of your posts get downvoted to hell.

          1. BigSLitleP

            Re: Hmm

            That's easy - it's because he thinks he's right. You can't help people that are that deluded.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Hmm

              @BigSLitleP

              "That's easy - it's because he thinks he's right"

              I assume thats why someone would hold an opinion, because they believe it to be the right one. Isnt that how you do it or am I doing this different to you guys?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Hmm

                Yes, you believe something based on FUD, they use facts like nothing in the GDPR would restrict this.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Hmm

                  @AC

                  You say FUD and you might be right. But so far I dont see where it has been shown incorrect. It is an issue I see from multiple news outlets yet I dont see where it has been discredited-

                  https://www.businessinsider.nl/facebook-is-using-ai-to-try-to-predict-if-youre-suicidal-2018-12?international=true&r=US

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Hmm

                    So you have Facebook compiling data and then treating it as medical data but refusing to obtain permission to use it as medical data as part of GDPR, because that would mean they would have to use higher standards to store this data (i.e. they can't use the same data to build advertising profiles or sell it). They can't have it all ways.

                    Facebook has put its own business model above suicide risks, not GDPR. They could obtain consent, not sell the data used to determine mental health and not use it for targeted advertising, and everything would be perfectly fine.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: Hmm

                      @AC

                      "So you have Facebook compiling data and then treating it as medical data but refusing to obtain permission to use it as medical data as part of GDPR,"

                      Ok that sounds reasonable. So if these companies dont wish to take on the extra responsibility it would make sense for them not to apply the technology where the restrictions are too onerous.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Hmm

                        They are not too onerous. I think most people wherever they are in the world would agree that medical data should not be sold to the highest bidder and you should not be targeted for advertisements based on your health or mental state. GDPR simply legally codifies that in the EU.

                        Facebook decided they can't keep health data and comply with GDPR but they are able to perfectly well, only they just have to forego making money out of a suicide hotline using data from users who are probably in their present mental state due to the harassment which is enabled by their platform in the first place.

                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                          Re: Hmm

                          @AC

                          "They are not too onerous"

                          Look at it from the perspective of facebook just for a moment. Read that bit I quoted. Then read everything else you said in that paragraph. From facebooks perspective would you not consider it too onerous for them to do all that to provide a free tool?

                          "Facebook decided they can't keep health data and comply with GDPR but they are able to perfectly well, only they just have to"

                          They just have to. Famous last words that then raises the question of what extra hoops do they have? Liability and costs.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: Hmm

                            what extra hoops do they have? Liability and costs.

                            Excuse me while I look for my quantum-fluctuation sized violin and play it just for Zuckerborg because Facebook can't make advertiser-driven profit from people's medical data in the EU so he decides to configure his platform to ignore suicide risks in the EU.

                            I think we're done here. See you on the next hill you choose to die on.

          2. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            @Hubert Cumberdale

            "And thanks for reciprocating!"

            I can honestly tell you it aint me. Aint worth the effort for someone I dont know nor care much about (no offence). That you think me important enough to go do that is your view.

            "I do wonder why you even post here when the vast majority of your posts get downvoted to hell."

            Sorry do I upset your echo chamber? This isnt some tv show where someone gets voted off an island. But if you must know I post because I dont assume I know it all and I do like to discuss as I may have missed an important bit of information.

            1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

              Re: Hmm

              I'm not objecting to you being here, nor to you airing your (locally) unpopular anti-EU opinions – I'm just curious as to why you stay. I guess if you were to say on some other forum, "I didn't come here to be insulted!", and someone were to respond with the classic riposte, "Well, where do you usually go?"*, then I suppose the answer would be The Register Forums. Personally, I go to the Daily Mail comments section.

              *As an aside, my wife's gone to the West Indes.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Hmm

                @Hubert Cumberdale

                "I'm just curious as to why you stay"

                Ah cool. The problem with just text is I couldnt tell if it was a question or f*** o** thats why I replied to both. I dont really care about downvotes. Replies can sometimes provide useful information and other perspectives. A downvote doesnt add anything and I dont consider the truth to be from up and down votes but from facts which we base opinions on.

                Thats why I wouldnt get any joy going through your posts to downvote them. I might vote on a current topic but even then for a few. Votes dont really add to the discussion.

                1. Dr_N Silver badge

                  Re: Hmm

                  Codejunky> Votes dont really add to the discussion.

                  Oh the delicious irony.

            2. NoKangaroosInAustria

              Re: Hmm

              Except you studiously ignore all facts presented to you, post dubious / off topic links and either deliberately obfuscate the issue at hand or manage to entirely miss the point - i am not always entirely sure which of the last two it is in your case.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Hmm

                @NoKangaroosInAustria

                "Except you studiously ignore all facts presented to you"

                Which ones? Seriously. Each link I have posted has been on topic of the GDPR issue and online platforms self harm prevention tools. I did stumble on a 'wired' article I didnt link to which asked why FB couldnt jump through all the extra hoops to do this in the EU but didnt say how, it just expected them to figure it out.

                "post dubious / off topic links"

                Which one? And dont just accept my links if you dont like them. As I said its reported all over in various new providers.

                "deliberately obfuscate the issue at hand"

                Tech companies saying they cant implement those tools in the EU because of GDPR. And I am willing to accept that is incorrect,. but not from the word of some unknown guy replying to my comment and claiming the bull you have (I have quoted) so far.

                "entirely miss the point"

                Then make a point. With fact. Seriously please do. I have agreed with ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo

                about the labels removed off doors being daft and that there is a lot of confusion around GDPR. So give something useful. Cmon. Stop moaning I am somehow wrong and present a fact showing it and I will be happy.

                1. NoKangaroosInAustria

                  Re: Hmm

                  You wrote: "EUGDPR prevented Facebook from implementing Anti Suicide measures."

                  I provided you with a link showing that they had less than stellar motives for developing the tool which would have violated the "informed consent" provisions of the GDPR.

                  I'm still not sure whether you're trolling or not, but I willing to give this another go, using both links that you and I have posted, so here goes:

                  Facebook/Instagram did not set out to develop a tool to recognize suicidal tendencies for altruistic purposes or to benefit their users. They set out to collect personal data on their users of the sort: "XY has suicidal tendencies" which they then wanted to sell to advertisers to market their products at.

                  I hope we can universally agree that that is an immoral and objectively wrong thing to do.

                  Additionally, the whole argument seems pretty rich considering that they would be pushing a solution for a problem that they helped create and are perpetuating.

                  To quote the suicidees parent in the BBC article you linked to:

                  Molly's father, Ian, has previously said the "pushy algorithms" of social media "helped kill my daughter".

                  The link i posted clearly states: "...The second way Facebook could avoid data law concerns is by asking for consent, perhaps by making the system opt-in. However, in the US and elsewhere, users won't even be able to opt-out.".

                  My standpoint is: GDPR didn't "prevent" something good from happening. All that Facebook/Instagram had to do was obtain consent before gathering and using personal data for whatever specific purposes which was agreed to by the users.

                  So you see, it is about consent. This shouldn't be a controversial topic, yet here we are.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Hmm

                    @NoKangaroosInAustria

                    "I hope we can universally agree that that is an immoral and objectively wrong thing to do."

                    That depends. If your trying to advertise self help, support charities, etc then no. Facebook is an (attempt) at an efficient advertising system. A good comparison I heard was how magazines and newspapers were that medium and you wouldnt put womens beauty adverts in mens fishing for example. You choose the outlet to the target audience. FB trying to narrow down the target audience and show adverts to those people.

                    If it was an attempt to sell razors to someone cutting themselves then yes that would be an issue.

                    "To quote the suicidees parent in the BBC article you linked to:"

                    That did seem a bit vague and just glossed over. How? Why? It is pretty bad that a 14yr old can be killed by adverts so a bit of information is needed to be taken seriously.

                    "The link i posted clearly states:"

                    You opt in to facebook by joining. What we are going through now with cookie popups annoying us everywhere is getting a bit far. FB provide a service and its up to people if they want to use it. FB are under no obligation to do the extra work to provide an additional service just for the EU, they just dont provide that service. It puts more cost and responsibility on FB for something they dont need to do.

                    "My standpoint is: GDPR didn't "prevent" something good from happening."

                    I have no idea if its a good thing or even works. I said good because if it restricts innovation that way then it is bound to in other ways.

                    "So you see, it is about consent. This shouldn't be a controversial topic, yet here we are."

                    Thats fine. Those in the EU mandate extra work FB isnt willing to do for them and so the EU doesnt get that feature. I dont have a problem with that.

              2. Dr_N Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: Hmm

                @NoKangaroosInAustria

                Careful. If you press too hard codejunky gets tied in knots and then labels you his troll.

                1. NoKangaroosInAustria
                  Happy

                  Re: Hmm

                  Haha! I posted first then read your comment :)

                  Now i'm beginning to wonder if I should have responded.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge
                    Paris Hilton

                    Re: Hmm

                    @NoKangaroosInAustria

                    "Haha! I posted first then read your comment :)"

                    I recommend checking his post history before backslapping with him

    5. NoKangaroosInAustria

      Re: Hmm

      You wrote: "Good. Wasnt GDPR the reason dangerous videos of self harm couldnt be automatically screened out from viewers? GDPR limiting the technology able to be used at figuring this stuff out."

      Nope, sorry but that's been soundly debunked. It took me all of 30 seconds of Googling to find this: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/facebook-suicide-alerts-gdpr and even less time to find one right here on ElReg showing that it's all about Facebook being unwilling to hire people to do the job properly: https://www.theregister.com/2017/05/03/3k_reviewers_live_murders_on_facebook/?page=2

      Dear Codejunky, at this point, i'm beginning to suspect that you're deliberately trolling. Even though you seem perfectly capable of finding the sometimes questionable links you post here, you seem to be consistently unable or unwilling to see or consider a significant amount of more reputable links disproving your theories.

      I enjoy good intellectual exchanges of ideas with "the other side" but facts still matter.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @NoKangaroosInAustria

        "It took me all of 30 seconds of Googling to find this"

        I found that one too. Interesting article that seem to think facebook should be jumping through extra hoops to do it and its facebooks problem if it then has issues with the law. They are right that the specific issues from facebook would be useful but acknowledge FB would need to do some sort of opt in and that Samaritans ran into issues with theirs.

        "one right here on ElReg"

        I dont see where that is to do with this issue (feel free to quote the relevant bits).

        "I enjoy good intellectual exchanges of ideas with "the other side" but facts still matter."

        And thanks for providing some. And hopefully you can look at what you posted in light of my response and either point out something I missed or see that it is not so nailed down. If you consider this trolling then I recommend you read some of my trolls messages so you can see the difference.

    6. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      There are a lot of replies and discussion but still nothing particularly concrete to say GDPR stops this technology from being run. So on time the EU does this-

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/12/20/algorithms-searching-child-abuse-could-banned-new-eu-privacy/

      The EU is to block the automatic detection tools of child abuse under new privacy rules.

  9. James Anderson Silver badge

    Time to end the "common carrier" defense

    The concept of "common carrier" was designed to protect postal services and later telegraph and telephone companies for any liability pertaining to the messages they delivered. This is quiet fare an sensible as otherwo\ise they would have to read and censor every message delivered.

    However the postal service does not open your letter see your gripe about getting back pain from mowing the lawn then stuffing the envelope full of flyers for sit on lawn mowers and pain relieving creams.

    As facebook and google target their ads based on the content of your posts and e-mails they can hardly assert that they did not know what was in the message.

    And if they complain that vetting posts for liable and criminal activity would be two difficult for them to operate profitably then tough they are not an essential service, and, we do not not prosecute blackmailers because it would damage the profitability of their enterprise.

    It seems absurd that a local Newspaper with a few thousand readers need to fact check its articles and run anything remotely controversial past a lawyer while a scumbag with several hundred thousand followers on facebook can post libels, falsehoods and incite violence without a worry or care.

    1. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo

      Re: Time to end the "common carrier" defense

      The fact that facebook has no official position of Editor, such as newspapers, does not mean it's not editing its content.

      We're unfortunately doomed to play catch-up with the anti-social internet giants, as regulation was dormant for decades in this matter.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Time to end the "common carrier" defense

      "This is quiet fare an sensible as otherwo\ise they would have to read and censor every message delivered."

      Or at least proofread them as a service ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time to end the "common carrier" defense

      "It seems absurd that a local Newspaper with a few thousand readers need to fact check its articles and run anything remotely controversial past a lawyer while a scumbag with several hundred thousand followers on facebook can post libels, falsehoods and incite violence without a worry or care."

      Not in the UK they can't. There have been plenty of prosecutions of users for posting such things.

      1. James Anderson Silver badge

        Re: Time to end the "common carrier" defense

        But if I write a letter to a newspaper calling Joe Bloggs a lying paedophile and the newspaper publishes it -- the newspaper is also liable. Currently facebook gets away scot free even though its making money from libellous and illegal posts.

    4. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      Re: Time to end the "common carrier" defense

      "It seems absurd that a local Newspaper with a few thousand readers need to fact check its articles and run anything remotely controversial past a lawyer while a scumbag with several hundred thousand followers on facebook can post libels, falsehoods and incite violence without a worry or care."

      Really, maybe this is somewhat true over there but what we have seen in the last 4 years in the US is that falsehoods and outright lies are portrayed as fact and even when proven false nothing ever happens to these so call NEWS publications.

      If I want to post the most outlandish claim on a public forum it is up to you to determine if it is truth. If I purport to be a "news" organization then the responsibility for truthfulness should lie upon me.

      Facebook, et. all, if they truly with to be a platform and not a publisher then they should in no way be censoring, flagging or blocking anything unless it violates decency standards that are somewhat agreed to world wide. i.e. no porn, violent videos or "personal" threats.

  10. boblongii

    So what?

    Has the concept of not using Facebook escaped everyone?

    Oh no! We've been taken hostage and forced to post innane crap on a webpage hosted in the US instead of Ireland! Whatever shall we do? Without the EU to protect us from being idiots we could all die horribly in some terrible privacy-related accident of our own causing!

    What difference does it make *FaceBook* is the company that you shouldn't be sharing your data with.

    1. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo

      Re: So what?

      The website Facebook isn't as relevant, IMHO, as many people believe.

      However, the real meat, IMHO, are the messengers.

      They are on every phone, the reflect your active-in-use social network, i.e. the people you regularly talk to, and not the schoolmate you harass with food pics.

      The messenger apps also provide location and movement data, something that the website Facebook alone couldn't.

      And while people, may well stop to use the website Facebook without much felt pain, doing away with whatsapp and instagram will be a much tougher proposition for most folks.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: So what?

      "Has the concept of not using Facebook escaped everyone?"

      Not quite everyone.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: So what?

        Some of us have even converted others.

      2. julian.smith
        Big Brother

        Re: So what?

        Facebook: I've heard of it but haven't had the pleasure ... am I missing somethig?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New faces, old faces

    Surely, it's time for our own World Beating, all British social media platform!!!

    Have to think of a name that encompasses the good old fashioned Brit commentator

    while acknowledging the vapid stream of gobshite that will fill this new "in one orifice

    and out the other" sewer.

    I know - TommyRot!!

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: New faces, old faces

      @AC

      "Surely, it's time for our own World Beating, all British social media platform!!!"

      Wasnt it the EU lamenting their lack of global tech success and desiring to not only smack down US ones but then fund their own? Might have only been a passing idea but I do seem to recall something that stupid to laugh at a while ago.

    2. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: New faces, old faces

      AC>Surely, it's time for our own World Beating, all British social media platform!!!

      friendsreunited.co.uk wasn't it?

      The new one could be called, "gammonroast.co.uk" ?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: New faces, old faces

        Hands up all the old farts who read that as Gormenghast ...

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: New faces, old faces

      The Usenet uk.* hierarchy still gets some traffic. You could try resurrecting that.

      Of course goophabet will archive all the posts ... but that's OK, not knowing anything about ASCII data storage they will corrupt and then lose them all eventually.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Data Protection Act 2021" Post Brexit amendment to DPA, to clarify and take back control, has been given royal ascent.

    The term "Data" under the act is clarified to refer to "written works on papyrus".

    If you are aware of any papyrus works being damaged, misappropriated or exploted, DPA-21 will now cover this fully.

    This protection was woefully inadequate under the EU. This amendment was supported by the untiring work of Facebook, Google and Amazon.

    Those divide-and-conquer tomes from the days of the empire need some dusting, just that the UK citizenry is now the target.

    Karma??

    Look at what is being done to Ghanians

    1. Martin Silver badge
      Headmaster

      ...has been given royal ASSENT.

      Assent - agreement

      Ascent - going up.

      Sigh.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Who cares about spleling ability anymore? Aren't your education records covered by the GPDA and/or DPA?

        This is especially true in fora where one can don the mantle of Grey Goo by posting AC.

  13. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Not wanting to defend Facebook but…

    I think this is an example of what's called "regulatory insecurity" where companies end up having to wing it. In absence of an agreement with the EU all existing agreements will lapse after 31st December meaning that Facebook Ireland will no longer be able to process data for UK citizens. The alternative of setting up a UK company for this purpose probably isn't possible so the UK gets the "WTO" treatment that many other countries will have.

    Rinse and repeat for all regulatory requirements where the incorporated country is in the EU. This is why the EU is also offering the UK an arrangement for essential services in the event of a no-deal (personally, unless the transitional agreement is extended, I can't see being avoided) so that UK airlines can continue to fly into, out of and within the EU.

    Oven ready indeed!

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: Not wanting to defend Facebook but…

      > I think this is an example of what's called "regulatory insecurity" where companies end up having to wing it. In absence of an agreement with the EU all existing agreements will lapse after 31st December meaning that Facebook Ireland will no longer be able to process data for UK citizens.

      A rhetorical question: are businesses in Ireland prohibited in any way from processing data on, say, Canadians, provided they follow the EU / Irish rules?

      There is no legal reason why Facebook Ireland shouldn't continue to hold and process the data for UK users. And given that there is cost, effort and risk associated with moving that data one can only assume that Facebook expects to more than recover the cost.

  14. iron Silver badge

    > And so you will get to choose: use Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram and have your data pored over and sold, or elect not to follow social media giant’s decision by, um, never using those services again.

    There is a third option, you could not be a product of these sites to begin with.

    As an anti-social curmudgeon I've never seen the point in social media. Apart from El Reg comments and LinkedIn (which I need to get work) I have never used it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My 4th option is that I've just bought a cheapo Chromebook -- in for a penny, in for a pound -- to use for all the Google / Facebook / Instagram / Zoom etc crap that it is increasingly hard to avoid.

      1. jake Silver badge

        It's not all that hard to avoid. I certainly never think about it anymore (except when browsing ElReg, of course).

  15. Muscleguy Silver badge

    Just Wait

    Until Scotland leaves the UK union and joins the EU Union. Then Being Evil Google and Facebook will have to figure out where our border is in cyberspace. Since pretty well all ISPs are UK wide it may well take time to develop Scotland only ones or for the UK ISPs to figure out where that border is and give us all .scot addresses.

    Haven’t looked since I changed to Talk Talk for price reasons, but when I was with Virgin my IP address co-localised with a Virgin server doon Sooth while we were and are in Dundee.

    Maybe we can be a bit like Estonia and offer English folk who don’t want all this .scot online presences. For a price of course.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just Wait

      > Until Scotland leaves the UK union and joins the EU Union

      I almost wish that would happen because it would so put the EU on the spot: if they say no then they look like they don't want to expand the EU, but if they say yes then they encourage the Catalan region of Spain to secede.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Just Wait

        Spain said recently that they'd be favourable to Scotland joining the EU (as long as it's an independent country fist):

        https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-spain-politics-scotland/spain-would-not-oppose-future-independent-scotland-rejoining-eu-minister-idUKKCN1NP25P

        https://fullfact.org/europe/eu-membership-spain-scotland/

      2. First Light Silver badge

        Re: Just Wait

        Spain hasn't taken Catalonia out of the EU against its wishes, seems like apples and oranges to me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just Wait

          Catalonia wants to be independent of Spain. Spain is preventing this.

          Scotland wants to be independent of England but wants to continue receiving handouts from the English taxpayers and to continue having a say in everything that happens south of the border.

          Spot the difference?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Just Wait

      "Since pretty well all ISPs are UK wide"

      I'm sure if Scotland seceded they'd requrie all ISPs there to be Scottish companies.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Just Wait

        I'm sure if Scotland seceded they'd requrie all ISPs there to be Scottish companies.

        I guess that could provide a boost to Scotland's Internet exchange, and data centre business. Would still leave some potential snags, like the distinct lack of Internet (or telco) capacity landed in Scotland. Then there may be some fun cost issues, like electricity. Scotland went big into wind power, so sometimes exports to England when there's wind, but t'other way around when it's calm.. When the lack of wind tends to make wholesale electricity prices head north of £1k+ per mW/h.

  16. Chris G Silver badge

    Bow down to Menlo Park

    Oh! and while you're bending............

    Fortunately for me , I live in Europe and have never wanted to immerse myself in the swamp that is FB, Wotsit and Instagrim.

    Though it is surprising how many governments use Wotsit as well as local authorities everywhere.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bow down to Menlo Park

      @Cris G

      You will find that most British M.P.s have switched to Signal. As have most European Governments and Eurocrats. I wondered why when I read it. It is now starting to become clear.

      Cheers… Ishy

  17. Jason Hindle Silver badge

    Well thanks for the reminder Facebook are slime-balls

    I can't entirely avoid them, but I can and do limit my exposure.

  18. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    Merry Brexmas, Everyone

    Oh, but surely ..

    Oh s*d it, I can't be bothered any more. The Zuck will do whatever he jolly well pleases, If Covid-19 doesn't get me, the tedium of trying to read 70+ pages of 'licence agreement' before the page times out will.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This isn't the Brexit I voted for...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      It's the Brexit I voted against. Seems like there were two referenda being run at the same time.

  20. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    Brexit and Facebook

    Just add a Conservative government for a complete trio of clusterf*cks.

  21. That 8 Bit Guy
    Facepalm

    Californian is not what is was twenty years ago.

    Well being Californian isn't what it was in 2000. Most people here are unemployed and homeless, or have moved to Nevada or Texas, as it is cheaper.

    I would prefer to be home in the UK than in California. The UK was self sufficient before moving to the EU, it will be again. Sterling will be stronger than the dollar globally, as the UK still has the gold to back it up.

    California is penniless and a sanctuary to the undesirables.

    Facebook needs to go back to school.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Californian is not what is was twenty years ago.

      @That 8 Bit Guy

      "The UK was self sufficient before moving to the EU, it will be again."

      Sorry to nitpick but I dont know of a time the UK was self sufficient. The UK is a nation built on trade which has always been one of its greatest strengths. Also a primary issue the EU has against us leaving, they dont want us having a competitive advantage (as they called it). Thats why they want a 'level playing field'.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: Californian is not what is was twenty years ago.

        WARNING - NITPICKING!

        I think the UK possibly was 'self-sufficient' during the mesolithic age, approx 10,000 BCE* to 4,000 BCE. Basically before our ancestors needed to trade in metals for the copper / bronze / iron ages. Although of course there was some trade in Amber, gold, and other minor highly valuable items, they were probably,y not essential for survival. Technically the mesolithic predates the EEC, but is not exactly recent history (except on the geological timescale).

        *BCE = Before Current Era.

        1. Dr_N Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Californian is not what is was twenty years ago.

          Beer for archeological reference. Feel free to drink it from a beaker.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Californian is not what is was twenty years ago.

      "Most people here are unemployed and homeless"

      Most? That word ... I don't think it means what you think it means. Until you sort that important bit of the puzzle out, I think it's pretty safe to ignore the rest of your theories.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm already on the Alphabet Soup watchlist.

    As a long-standing member of the Traveller Mailing List, my name is forever enshrined in the shadowed halls of the various 3-letter (or letters and numbers) agencies around the world - although I am not the member who received the email asking for more details of the fusion-, laser- and plasma guns I had created...

  23. Toni the terrible
    Holmes

    Facebook, Instagram, Twitter et al

    There is no real reason to use any of these social media applications, and from many many posts on El Reg there is good reason not to use them. So don't. If you need one find a better one or make it yourself - go on go on go on you know you can...

  24. Spanners Silver badge
    Boffin

    If it works by location

    Can it be persuaded that I am in the EU by judicious use of a VPN?

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: If it works by location

      @Spanners

      "Can it be persuaded that I am in the EU by judicious use of a VPN?"

      Highly likely. You could convince it you live in China with a VPN if you wish. One of the good things about the internet and governments currently limited powers of imposition

  25. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Coat

    Three and a half years of "negotiations"

    It's dumb but it's not done yet. Let's face it, the most significant issue is that it might cause Boris to have to return to journalism.

    We can talk about this all we like but after January 1st we might have a clue about what might happen or maybe not. It's like jumping off a wall, you might walk away, you might break your legs, or you might land on your head. You may know immediately, or perhaps in a month or two when you get in a wheelchair to go home. Hopefully we won't have to climb out of a hole and look at the headstone.

  26. Pat Att

    What a F*** Up

    Another of the many wonderful benefits of Brexit.

    /Sarcasm.

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