News World German anti-trust watchdog clamps down on Facebook's data gathering

German anti-trust watchdog clamps down on Facebook’s data gathering

Germany’s antitrust watchdog on Thursday announced a crackdown on Facebook’s data collection practices after ruling the world’s largest social network abused its market dominance to gather information about users without their knowledge or consent.

Facebook said it would appeal the landmark ruling by the Federal Cartel Office, the culmination of a three-year probe, saying the watchdog underestimated the competition it faced and undermined Europe-wide privacy rules that took effect last year.

“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 accounts,” Cartel Office Chief Andreas Mundt said.

The probe’s findings come amid fierce scrutiny of Facebook over a series of privacy lapses, including the leak of data on tens of millions of Facebook users, as well as the extensive use of targeted ads by foreign powers seeking to influence elections in the United States.

The cartel office objected in particular to how Facebook acquires data on people from third-party apps – including its own WhatsApp and Instagram services – and its online tracking of people who aren’t even members.

That includes tracking visitors to websites with an embedded Facebook ‘like’ or share button – and pages where it observes people even though there is no obvious sign the social network is present.

The ruling does not yet have legal force and Facebook has a month to appeal, which the social network said it would do.

“We disagree with their conclusions and intend to appeal so that people in Germany continue to benefit fully from all our services,” Facebook said in a blog post.

“The Bundeskartellamt underestimates the fierce competition we face in Germany, misinterprets our compliance with the GDPR, and threatens the mechanism European law provides for ensuring consistent data protection standards across the EU.”

(Reuters)

Top Stories

New record number of new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday: 152

The Health Ministry announced 153 new COVID-19 cases on 20 October, out of 4,410 laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 2, 839. The break-down of...

Stench in Kokkinotrimithia and Mammari due to farms and burned garbage

Citizens of Kokkinotrimithia and Mammari contacted philenews and complained that at the Kafkalla location some people threw a huge quantity of garbage and set...

Police chasing suspects in Paphos

Members of the Anti-Narcotics Unit who were watching some suspects for drug trafficking, according to first information, chased a suspicious vehicle which tried to...

71-year-old dead in accident

During an accident that took place this morning in the district of Nicosia, 71-year-old Andreas Alexandrou from Kato Moni of Nicosia District lost his...

Rain and hail in Lympia and Xylotympou (PHOTOS)

Rain and hail were seen in various areas of Cyprus. Social media users published photos from Lympia and Xylotympou. (philenews)

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...