Facebook ordered to curb data collection practices by German court

Germany's Federal Cartel Office thinks Facebook is abusing its market dominance

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Facebook has been advised to stop collecting large swaths of data about its users by Germany's Federal Cartel Office, reported Reuters

The regulator has said the social network is not protecting the privacy of its German users and therefore abusing its market dominance in the country.

"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," Federal Cartel Office chief Andreas Mundt said.

The company has come under the spotlight around the world after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Authorities around the world are now looking into how data is collected and used (or abused) and German regulators said they didn't agree with the way the social network collects data about people using it's pseudo third-party apps such as WhatsApp and Instagram.

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Facebook will now only be able to share data from connected WhatsApp and Instagram accounts if they receive specific consent for the data to be shared. If any third party or Facebook itself wants to use data assigned to Facebook account, the same conditions will apply.

If a user doesn't offer the consent, Facebook would not be able to use that data in the same way as it does at present.

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Facebook said it plans to object to the decision saying that it, in fact, does have competition and it is not using its market dominance to misuse data.

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

If Facebook doesn't comply with the Federal Cartel Office, the regulator said it will penalise the social network with fines of up to 10% of its annual global revenues, so around $5.58 billion.

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