Суббота, 20 Апреля, 2019

Facebook will appeal German data-use ruling

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Russell Knight | 10 Февраля, 2019, 17:57

Making that call in the context of a competition investigation is equal to saying that because a company is dominant it is more likely to use its market power to impose terms and conditions on its users that are in breach of data protection rules.

This stunning verdict by the Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) also means that Facebook's business model, which is based on amassing massive amounts of user information, is also illegal and must be changed.

"This is the point we'll continue to make to the Bundeskartellamt and defend these important arguments in court, so that people and businesses in Germany can continue to benefit from all of our services", Facebook said.

Rather, the ruling said Facebook should have to get consent separately before using customer data from other apps and websites to do so. The German Justice Ministry is calling out Facebook on their ability to collect the user data of various users and use it to their advantage.

The regulator ordered Facebook to stop the practice in a ruling that experts say could shape the company's future - and potentially even lead to its breakup.

German authorities claim Facebook is not allowed to mix up WhatsApp and Instagram unless granted proper permission.

Today (7 February) the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) in Germany said it would be taking a harder line on what it dubbed Facebook's "practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data".

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"The [regulator] underestimates the fierce competition we face in Germany, misinterprets our compliance with [European privacy rules] and undermines the mechanisms European law provides for ensuring consistent data protection standards across the EU", Facebook said.

The German regulator noted that it didn't take issue with Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram collecting data.

Facebook said the cartel office failed to recognize the extent of competition it faced from Google's YouTube or Twitter for users' attention, and also said the regulator was encroaching into areas that should be handled by data protection watchdogs. It outlined the FCO's views on the value of the data Facebook has access to. It has a month to challenge the decision before it comes into effect.

The ruling will apply not just on Facebook, but across WhatsApp and Instagram - both of which are owned by the company, and will soon be integrated by Facebook to share messaging services.

"We need to make it so that people can communicate across the different networks and graphs that they have or be able to do that integration better in order to facilitate more transactions and connections there", Zuckerberg said. Online privacy is a grave concern in Germany as they lead the global charge against Facebook.

"The only choice the user has is either to accept the comprehensive combination of data or to refrain from using the social network", it said in its judgment. Users must agree to the terms or be excluded from the social network, a hard situation that can not be considered voluntary consent, as required under the law. "Facebook's registration process encouraged participants to 'set it and forget it, ' warning that if a participant disconnected from the monitoring for more than 10 minutes for a few days that they could be disqualified".

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