NEWS24 December 2020

Facebook disables some features due to privacy rules

Europe News North America Privacy Technology

US – Facebook has updated its messaging services in what it says is a response to a change in European privacy laws.

Person holding phone with Facebook login screen

From 21 December 2020, the ePrivacy Directive will apply to a broader set of electronic communications services as defined in the European Electronic Communications Code, including messaging services.

Facebook has disabled features in its Messenger and Instagram apps for European users, including the ability to create polls in apps and use augmented reality image filters on Instagram messages.

Core features, including text messaging and calling, will not be affected.

Aura Salla, public policy director, head of EU affairs, wrote in a blog post: “In order to comply with the law, we needed to adjust the way our services work, such as further segregating messaging data from other parts of our infrastructure.

“Some advanced features like polls that require the use of message content to work may be disrupted as we make changes to align with the new privacy rules. We’re working to bring back features that we can as quickly as possible.”