Facebook to appeal Germany crackdown

Facebook to appeal Germany crackdown

Facebook published a statement following that report that said its partnerships or features didn't give companies access to information without people's permission, and Royal Bank said separately at the time it didn't have the ability to see user messages.

If the ruling is upheld, Facebook will be required to allow users to specifically approve data collected from other Facebook-owned sources and third-party websites assigned to their accounts.

Facebook announced it will appeal the decision, lamenting the "fierce competition we face in Germany" and insisting the company is in compliance with both the GDPR and other European data protection laws.

Facebook disagreed with the conclusions of the regulator's investigation and said it intends to appeal the decision.

"We are mostly concerned about the collection of data outside Facebook's social network and the merging of this data into a user's Facebook account", said Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt.

Without such consent, Facebook would be free to collect data but would not be allowed to pool it with other information on a particular individual. Even if a website has no visible signs of a link to Facebook, it could still send user data to the company by using the Facebook Analytics service in the background. It should develop proposals to do this within 12 months, subject to the outcome of appeal proceedings at the Duesseldorf Higher Regional Court that should be filed within a month.

"This is a landmark decision", he told Reuters.

Germany's justice minister said Facebook's move is "an attempt to create a monopoly" that poses antitrust and privacy questions.

London Zoo tiger mauled to death by its new mate
Keepers had hoped the big cats would breed but have been left devastated after Asim, the male they brought in, attacked Melati. The two animals had been kept separated in adjoining areas since Asim's arrival so they could get used to each other.

The lifeblood of social networks is data, which led the FCO to take the view that Facebook's terms and conditions affect not only data protection but also competition. But the evidence is mounting against it - and with that, more and more groups are examining what can be done, what regulations could potentially be put into place, and how the social giant could be pulled into line to protect its users. Last month, for example, the social network was accused by European Union officials of taking a "patchy, opaque and self-selecting" approach to tackling misinformation on its platform.

But the EU's data protection supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli said in a blog post that "we have consistently supported competition authorities taking action to combat abuse of dominance".

The German antitrust regulator's powers were expanded in 2017 to include consumer protection in public-interest cases where it could argue that a company - such as Facebook - had so little competition that consumers lack any effective choice.

To showcase the monopolistic powers of Facebook, the German office outlined that the social media platform holds more than 95 percent of daily German users and more than 80 percent of monthly users. "It is therefore precisely in the area of data collection and data use where Facebook, as a dominant company, must comply with the rules and laws applicable in Germany and Europe".

The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) said Facebook had abused its dominant position in the country to carry out "intensive" data processing.

Facebook's lead European privacy regulator, Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC), made its concerns public last October.

The company will soon release a new tool called Clear History.

German anti-trust authorities have ruled against Facebook over its methods of combining user data from different sources, including WhatsApp and Instagram.

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