German Authorities Block Facebook From Combining User Data From Different Sources

Posted: Feb 7 2019, 3:37am CST | by , in Technology News


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German Authorities Block Facebook from Combining User Data from Different Sources

The German Bundeskartellamt issued major restrictions for Facebook.

Facebook faces new restrictions from German authorities. The Bundeskartellamt (Antitrust department) issued restrictions on how tracked user data can be combined. The social media giant is not allowed to combine user data from different sources anymore without users consent. This includes Instagram and Whatsapp. Users must give Facebook consent in case the collected data is assigned to their Facebook profile.

The restrictions also handle the data from third party websites. Many sites use the Facebook Like buttons that track users. Now users would need to give consent before Facebook can combine that data with their Facebook profile.

"With regard to Facebook’s future data processing policy, we are carrying out what can be seen as an internal divestiture of Facebook’s data. 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. The combination of data sources substantially contributed to the fact that Facebook was able to build a unique database for each individual user and thus to gain market power," says Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt.

He continues, "In the future, consumers can prevent Facebook from unrestrictedly collecting and using their data. The previous practice of combining all data in a Facebook user account, practically without any restriction, will now be subject to the voluntary consent given by the users. Voluntary consent means that the use of Facebook’s services must not be subject to the users’ consent to their data being collected and combined in this way. If users do not consent, Facebook may not exclude them from its services and must refrain from collecting and merging data from different sources."

The Bundeskartellamt’s decision is not yet final. Facebook has one month to appeal the decision to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court. You can read the full announcement here.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
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