Facebook will voluntarily implement the European Union's impending new privacy rules worldwide, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

GDPR takes effect from May 25th and is intended to hand back control to consumers over the use of their personal data, with potential fines of €20m or four per cent of worldwide annual turnover if companies do not comply with it.

They will be required to ensure that such data is processed lawfully for a specific purpose and, once that purpose is fulfilled, deleted.

"We're going to make all the same controls and settings available everywhere, not just in Europe," Zuckerberg told reporters during a conference call in which he also accepted blame for the social media giant’s data leak which has made headlines around the world.

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The Cambridge Analytica scandal widened on Wednesday when Facebook’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer wrote in a blog post that the data of up to 87 million users, a significant leap on the 50m figure quoted by whistleblower Christopher Wylie, could have been shared without consent. The BBC claimed that 1.1m of these users are based in the UK.

UK firm Cambridge Analytica said on Twitter it had received no more than 30m records.

This follows calls from Scott Stringer, who oversees the New York City pension fund which has an almost $1 billion stake in Facebook, for Facebook founder Zuckerberg to quit and allow an independent chairman to take over.

However Zuckerberg said he is still the right person to lead Facebook, adding: “When you’re building something like Facebook that is unprecedented in the world, there are going to be things that you mess up.

“I’m not looking to throw anyone else under the bus for mistakes that we made here… [but] knowing what I know today, clearly we should have done more.”

TECH ON TWITTER: Zuckerberg's Facebook apology

Zuckerberg is set to testify about the scandal in front of the US Congress’ House Commerce Committee next week.

Meanwhile Facebook is taking steps to restrict which personal data is available to third-party app developers while also proposing longer versions of its terms of service and data use policy.

 

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