According to the Financial Times (19459004), Facebook faces the threat of global data privacy regulations and has hired former British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as head of global business and communications.
Clegg (51) will head to Silicon Valley in January following Elliot Schrage who left the company this summer. Clegg was a member of the British Parliament until last year and led the Liberal Party for five years with the Conservative Party of David Cameron.
Clegg has worked with the European Commission on trade negotiations, and in the past several years, billions of dollars of the most valued companies in the valley have been fined for violations. The most noteworthy of these penalties was a $ 50 billion committee last year that hit Google with anti-competitive behavior related to Google's Android operating system.
Facebook's decision to hire Clegg is a continual EU effort to regulate technology companies. Over the last few years, there has been a heightened tension in data privacy. The company struggled last spring with concerns about Russian elections, data leaks, and Senate concerns over the Cambridge analyst scandal. Along with European Union officials, US Congressmen blamed the company for not doing enough to deal with these threats.
Věra Jourová, Chairperson of the European Commission Justice, Consumer and Gender Equality Committee, has reviewed Facebook's current policies on privacy and transparency, and noted that the regulatory body should be aware of the company's terms of service
EU's General Data Protection Regulation has impacted privacy standards in companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google significantly. With Clegg being added to the top tier of Facebook, the company has been able to circle these relatively new and comprehensive rules.
In last year's iNews UK op-ed, Clegg defended Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants. "I am regularly criticized by Mark Zuckerberg and others for not stopping fake news and extremism and taking too much effort to collect data for the benefit of advertisers, but there is little or no continuity of humanity," Clegg said.