Thursday 18 July 2019

Facebook to appeal Germany crackdown

Stock photo: Reuters
Stock photo: Reuters

Karin Matussek and Stephanie Bodoni

Facebook's advertising model has come under attack in a landmark ruling from German antitrust regulators who ordered it to overhaul how it tracks its users' internet browsing and smartphone apps.

Germany's Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office) gave the company 12 months to stop "unrestrictedly collecting and using" data and combining it with users' Facebook accounts without their consent. Facebook said it was being unfairly singled out by the regulator, which has broken new ground by using antitrust law to tackle data privacy.

It will appeal against the decision, saying that the regulator "misapplies German competition law to set different rules that apply to only one company". "While we've cooperated with the Bundeskartellamt for nearly three years and will continue our discussions, we disagree with their conclusions and intend to appeal so that people in Germany continue to benefit fully from all our services," said Facebook.

Under the order, Facebook can't tie membership on the platform to people agreeing to unlimited data tracking. Instead, it must provide a technical solution to allow users to opt out of the data tracking outside the Facebook account.


Irish Independent

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