New EU Privacy Regulations’ effect on Social Media

On 21st December 2020, many Europeans woke up to the news that many features in Messenger and Instagram apps have been removed due to the new privacy rules in the European Union (EU). Messaging apps will comprise EU rules known as the ‘ePrivacy Directive’. In respond to this Facebook had to deactivate several features.

A few of these features were the group chatting polls on both Instagram and Messenger. Setting nicknames for friends on Messenger were removed as well as augmented-reality face filters along with Stickers. Moreover, on Instagram, posts and stories, and messaging-related insights are currently unavailable with the new regulations.

The European Union (EU) has taken a lead in protecting its citizens rights on the use of their personal data for a number of years. The protection of private life and of personal data have been established as fundamental rights. They are listed in Article 7 and 8 in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The ePrivacy Directive came to be in 2002, a directive enabling each EU member state to implement their own national correspondence regulations. It was later amended in 2009. Furthermore, it is a particular sectoral directive that addresses the free movement of data and the right to privacy of data flows in the electronic information sector in Europe.

EU citizens in all 27 member states have to give their consent to allow websites to collect their information. Therefore, no website can collect personal data without a person’s consent.

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