By Matt Novak | 7 February 2018
GIZMODO — Facebook was slapped with a ruling in Germany today that limits how the social media giant can collect data across its multiple platforms, like WhatsApp and Instagram. And Facebook is not happy about it, to say the least. The company says it’s collecting all of that data for your own good. They’re simply using their data sharing methods to protect you against terrorism and child abuse, according to Facebook. Seriously.
The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s federal regulator of business competition, ruled that Facebook can no longer use data that it collects across different platforms without explicit permission from users. Facebook users in Germany and elsewhere previously had no way to opt out of the sharing of data between platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, and third party apps not owned by Facebook.
“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,” Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellam, said in a statement.
The German regulator noted that it didn’t take issue with Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram collecting data. It just didn’t like that one company was aggregating all of that data across multiple platforms. And the Bundeskartellamt alleges that Facebook has used this data collection in anti-competitive ways. […]