A lengthy antitrust probe into how Facebook gathers data on users has resulted in Germany’s competition watchdog banning the social network giant from combining data on users across its own suite of social platforms without their consent.
The investigation of Facebook data-gathering practices began in March 2016.
The decision by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, announced today, also prohibits Facebook from gathering data on users from third party websites — such as via tracking pixels and social plug-ins — without their consent.
Although the decision does not yet have legal force and Facebook has said it’s appealing. The BBC reports that the company has a month to challenge the decision before it comes into force in Germany.
In both cases — i.e. Facebook collecting and linking user data from its own suite of services; and from third party websites — the Bundeskartellamt asserts that consent to data processing must be voluntary, so cannot be made a precondition of using Facebook’s service.
The company must therefore “adapt its terms of service and data processing accordingly”, it warns.
“Facebook’s terms of service and the manner and extent to which it collects and uses data are in violation of the European data protection …read more
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