German competition watchdog tells Facebook to stop combining user data without consent | 2/7/2019 | Staff
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Germany's competition watchdog has imposed "far-reaching" restrictions on Facebook's data slurping and sharing – a decision that the Social Network unsurprisingly plans to appeal.

Autsch! Germany slaps Facebook in its abusive little face for 'limitlessly amassing data'

Bundeskartellamt - Zuckerborg - User - Data - Platforms

The Bundeskartellamt has said the Zuckerborg must not combine user data across its platforms or collect data from third-party websites and assign it to user accounts without users' consent.

If it doesn't have this consent, Facebook "will have to substantially restrict its collection and combining of data", and was told to start developing ways to ensure this doesn't happen.

Ruling - Case - Authority - Ruling - Facebook

The much-anticipated ruling comes in a case the authority has been considering since 2016. In a preliminary ruling issued in 2017, it accused Facebook of abusing its market dominance to "limitlessly amass" user data.

Today's decision echoed this, stating: "The extent to which Facebook collects, merges and uses data in user accounts constitutes an abuse of a dominant position."

Probe - Processing - Data - Facebook - Platform

The probe relates not to the processing of the data Facebook collects from its own platform, but how it pulls together info from other sources. This includes its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram, and third-party sources, such as the "Like" button, or when sites use Facebook's analytics services.

"By combining data from its own website, company-owned services and the analysis of third party websites, Facebook obtains very detailed profiles of its users and knows what they are doing online," said Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt.

Extent - Facebook - Merges - Data - Accounts

The extent to which Facebook collects, merges and uses data in user accounts constitutes an abuse of a dominant position...

The slap-down on sharing data between its platforms comes as Facebook faces other probes in Europe over how the decision to merge Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp will affect user data, having previously pledged not to cross-pollinate such datasets.

Statement - Mundt - Data - Collection - Use

In a statement, Mundt emphasised that data collection and use is now a "decisive...
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