Facebook is racing to catch up with privacy laws once again. Facebook privacy issues are nothing new, now the social media giant has temporarily disabled a number of Instagram and Messenger features. This is in order to comply with new directives set to go in place later this month. Facebook is taking steps to make sure the services comply with a change in privacy rules, as messaging apps will fulfill under EU regulations – the ePrivacy directive – from Monday.
There is no specific list of disabled features but here is a short list of the features disabled in the past few days:
- Media file sends in Messenger
- Chat nicknames in Messenger
- Polls on Messenger
- Personalized replies in Messenger
- Stickers in Instagram DMs
- Polls in Instagram DMs
- AR effects in Instagram DMs
Will these features be back?
There is currently no concrete timeline for when these features will return to European users. But Facebook is insistent that the changes are temporary, and should be “coming back very soon.”
Facebook has stated that its reason for disabling these features is for compliance with the 2002 ePrivacy directive from the European Union. This directive goes into effect on December 21st and outlines a number of strict rules for messaging platforms, like Messenger and Instagram.
More specifically, the ePrivacy directive is concerned with “the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy”. Simply put, it’s designed to keep tech companies in check when it comes to how they use the information in your messages and the metadata that comes with them. In a statement, Facebook said: “We’re still determining the best way to bring these features back”. It takes time to rebuild products in a way that works seamlessly for people and also comply with the new regulation.”
In another statement, Facebook said: “We’re still determining the best way to bring these features back. “It takes time to rebuild products in a way that work seamlessly for people and also comply with new regulation.”
Facebook privacy issues are not new, we all remember the Cambridge Analytica, incident where millions of data Facebook users’ data were acquired with the individuals’ consent. Then social media giant is taking precautionary measures to ensure that the company is safe from legal issues.
However, it’s very likely that Facebook is taking these extra precautions to protect itself as best it can.