German ruling could impede Facebook's data-combo moves | 2/7/2019 | Staff
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Facebook is pushing back against a German ruling that could make it harder for the company to combine data from all the services it runs in order to target ads even more precisely.

Thursday's ruling, though aimed at current practices, hints at potential troubles ahead if Facebook follows through with plans to integrate the messaging functions of WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger as early as next year.

Authorities - Thursday - Facebook - Dominance - Media

German antitrust authorities ruled Thursday that Facebook was exploiting its dominance in social media in forcing users to also allow the company to collect data from other Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as third-party websites through the "Like" and "Share" buttons.

The Federal Cartel Office, or Bundeskartellamt, isn't contesting Facebook's use of customer data to target ads on the main Facebook service. Rather, the ruling said Facebook should have to get consent separately before using customer data from other apps and websites to do so.


Facebook said it would appeal.

The company currently collects data on users' activities on Facebook and the other apps it owns, along with third-party websites. So, what someone views, likes or shares on Instagram—or the broader web—could be used to show that person an ad on Facebook.

Facebook - Integrate - WhatsApp - Instagram - Service

Facebook also has been moving to further integrate WhatsApp and Instagram into its main service after initially promising to keep both as stand-alone companies when it bought them.

Although Facebook hasn't given many details on its plans to integrate messaging, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said recently that the idea is to help users message one another more easily, without having to worry about who's on which service. The company also said it would encrypt all the messaging services, something it does by default only with WhatsApp.

Critics - Reason—the - Threat - Crackdowns - Facebook

But critics have raised another possible reason—the threat of antitrust crackdowns. Essentially, if Facebook combines its messaging services so that they are...
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