Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and other ad-supported online services may start charging their European users if the changes proposed to EU data protection laws take effects , warned Eduardo Ustaran, head of the privacy and information law group at European law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse.
According to Ustaran, the effects of these regulation would take away the authority of online services like Facebook to collects, read and sell user's data. As as result, these ad-supported online services will be forced to abandon their ad-supported models and paid service is the probable outcome.
"If they weren’t able to use your data in the way that is profitable or useful for them for advertising purposes, then either the user has to pay for it or stop using the service" said Ustaran in his statement to ZDNet.
The outcomes of the proposed regulations, as explained by Ustaran, would curtail services like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Gmail to user information extracted from user data to generate ad revenue and those companies "wouldn't be able to rely on legitimate interest and they wouldn't be able to rely on consent".
These services are have difficulty claiming that they have obtained user's consent to collect, analyze and sell their personal data, even if the user has accepted their terms of services at the time of service sign up.
"We are concerned that some aspects of the report do not support a flourishing European digital single market and the reality of innovation on the internet - which is inescapably global in nature, and which includes important partners like the US. We will be examining these proposals closely in the coming weeks," said Erika Mann, head of EU policy for Brussels at Facebook.
Last year, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) changed what it does with the data provided by its users, when Instagram, its most recent acquisition, modified its terms and conditions that generated a public out cry over user privacy and rights on personal data.
In light of these forced modifications to the terms of services of big online services like Facebook and Gmail, the proposed regulation came out as a savior to user's online privacy. The proposed changes aim to offer users greater protection against websites and online services that keep on changing how they handle user's personal data to their advantage.