Germany Says Facebook Cannot Combine Data From WhatsApp, Instagram

Germany Says Facebook Cannot Combine Data From WhatsApp, Instagram”

Yesterday Germany's Federal Cartel Office, the country's antitrust regulator, says that Facebook needs user consent before it merges data from Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. The regulator's order explicitly said that Facebook cannot block users from using its services if they disagree with the data merger from different sources.

"In future, Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts", said FCO president Andreas Mundt.

The agency also accused Facebook of abusing this market monopoly by telling users that when they agree to the Terms of Service for the Facebook platform they also agree to having data collected about them from other sources associated with their accounts. The office demanded Facebook has to seek German users' explicit consent to collect and combine this kind of data, according to CNN. In addition to inviting community group leaders to the summit, Facebook for the first time this year also invited leaders of local business and nonprofit groups.

Facebook did that, Mundt's office said, by compiling data from its website, apps and Facebook-owned services - along with seemingly any website that has Facebook's "Like" or "Share" buttons, or a Facebook login box built into their pages.

"With 23 million daily active users [in Germany] and 32 million monthly active users Facebook has a market share of more than 95 per cent (daily active users) and more than 80 per cent (monthly active users)". It was unhappy with the way the social networking giant combined user data from different sources, often without users being aware of what was happening.

"It seems to me that the Federal Cartel Office is informed by data protections, but not dependent on them, and that it has based its decision squarely on competition law", he said.

He gave Facebook four months to present a "concept" for compliance and a year to implement it. Google Inc. was fined a record 50 million euros by the French privacy authority in January. The decision is not about Facebook's processing of data generated by its own site, which the Cartel Office acknowledged is the business model for data-based social networks like Facebook.

Facebook said German authorities underestimated the competition Facebook has in Germany from YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and others.

German Justice Minister Katarina Barley on Thursday welcomed a crackdown by Germany's antitrust watchdog on Facebook's data collection practices, saying the company was collecting data far beyond its platform. "We need to be rigorous in tackling the abuse of power that comes with data", she said.

By the end of Facebook's statement the company leans heavily into the claim that everybody else is doing it, so why can't they-which may be the most terrifying point.

Facebook strongly disagrees with the decision and will appeal against it.

In the past 12 months the firm has been battered by repeated scandals. Many of its provisions are created to make sure users have more control over how their data is collected and processed.

In the latest high-profile backlash against the social network, German officials argue that Facebook has been exploiting its dominant position in social media. That includes combining the data Facebook gains about users from external websites into their backend Facebook profiles.

The same consultancy worked on both the Leave campaign in the UK's Brexit referendum of 2016 and on Donald Trump's election campaign in the same year. By not obtaining sufficient user consent for collecting the data from other apps and sites, the company abused its dominant position in the market and violated European Union personal data protection law, the German regulator said.

Like this



09 February 2019
New Diabetes Pill Prototype Contains a 'Needle' of Insulin
The abdomen wall has no ache receptors, so the researchers imagine that sufferers wouldn't have the ability to feel the injection. Computer models were used to experiment on different shapes for the capsule that allows it to adapt to its environment.

09 February 2019
New Zealand vs India - Highlights & Stats
Rohit Sharma led the charge scoring 50 off 29 balls and passing Martin Guptill to become the highest run scorer in global T20s. A controversial review contributed to the Black Caps' growing loss of wickets.

09 February 2019
Canadian serial killer sentenced to life for murdering eight
That waiting period would have left McArthur ineligible for parole until the age of 116, beyond his expected natural lifespan. December 8, 2017 - Police Chief Mark Saunders says the force will review its practices in missing persons investigations.

09 February 2019
Romania's central bank maintains monetary policy rate at 2.5%
The Government's regulations, as already enacted, are weakening the impact of the monetary policy , the central bank warned. Mr Carney said: "When the economy is growing more slowly, the probability of it having a negative quarter or two goes up".

09 February 2019
Girl, 5, pulled from rubble 18 hours after building collapse in Istanbul
Speaking to reporters at the site, Soylu said rescue work has been ongoing for 31 hours in an effort to reach more survivors. Rescue teams Thursday saved a 5-year-old girl from the debris of an Istanbul apartment collapse , said Turkish officials.

09 February 2019
Forecasters warn of freezing rain and slippery roads Wednesday night
Environment Canada has issued yet another advisory for Toronto on Wednesday, and this time it is for freezing drizzle. Environment Canada issued a freezing rain warning for Waterloo Region and the surrounding area on Wednesday morning.

09 February 2019
United States lawmaker questions Washington's weapons shipments to Saudi-led coalition in Yemen
Following the report, a U.S. defense official confirmed that an investigation into the issue was ongoing. Michael McCaul, the committee's ranking Republican, called the resolution an "ill-advised bill".

09 February 2019
Guteress calls for collaborative global action on female genital mutilation
Genital mutilation also has psychological repercussions, with many victims feeling anxious, depressed, incomplete and traumatized. For instance, babies born to women who have undergone FGM are prone to having a higher rate of neonatal death.

09 February 2019
NASA's Tiny Satellites Fall Silent After Proving New Tech at Mars
It's believed WALL-E is now more than one million miles past Mars whilst EVE is nearly two million miles away from the Red Planet. Having travelled well past Mars , the twin CubeSats seem to have reached their limit, Nasa said in a statement .

09 February 2019
Raptors have two Defensive Players of the Year after adding Marc Gasol
They added an elite centre in Marc Gasol , and according to Masai Ujiri they are not done adding pieces for the playoff run. Valanciunas is a solid player, but he doesn't make much sense for the Grizzlies long term, and neither does Miles.