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Facebook CFO David Wehner says it will be GDPR compliant, active user numbers may be affected

Wehner told an investor meeting Wednesday that the social media giant has a process for requesting EU user consent.

Facebook CFO David Wehner told a Morgan Stanley investor conference on Wednesday that upcoming European Union (EU) privacy rules could affect the number of company’s daily active users (DAUs), CNBC reports.

There “could be some implication on DAUs” because of the coming regulations, Wehner said.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), goes into effect on May 25. The sweeping legislation will require companies to gain explicit consent from users before collecting or sharing their personal data.

“We’ll be compliant with GDPR when it goes into effect in May,” Wehner said. “It’s about how you design your product. We’ll walk EU users through [a series of] permission screens.”

From the article:

Facebook had 277 million daily active users in Europe in the fourth quarter, up 5.7 percent from a year earlier.

That was more than the 184 million it had in the U.S. and Canada last quarter. The Asia-Pacific region is Facebook’s largest market, with 499 million DAUs.

COO Sheryl Sandberg announced the launch of a GDPR privacy center in January. Facebook and other technology companies have come under increasing scrutiny by European regulators for privacy-related issues. Separately, last year, France’s data protection authority fined Facebook €150,000 ($166,400) for failing to comply with the French Data Protection Act.

Wehner also addressed a drop in daily active users (DAUs) in North American the company reported for the fourth quarter of 2017.

“That decline is a trend we don’t see continuing,” Wehner said.

Wehner suggested that as a larger portion of business comes from regions outside North America, Facebook’s profit margin will decline, according to CNBC.

“We won’t have as high an ARPU (average revenue per user) in other countries (as in the U.S. and Canada) while the cost structure is the same,” Wehner said.

The company’s overall ratio of costs to revenue “will reflect that,” he said.