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Germany may demand that Facebook stop collecting some user data

Tyrone Stewart

FacebookGerman antitrust authorities are reportedly planning on ordering Facebook to stop collecting some user data – after finding that the social network has been abusing its market dominance to keep people in the dark about how its uses people’s data.

The Federal Cartel Office, Germany’s national competition regulator, has been investigating Facebook since 2015 and, based on its findings, will present the US tech giant with its ruling within the next few weeks, according to Bild am Sonntag [translated].

In particular, the German authority is against the way that Facebook gains data from third-party apps – such as its own WhatsApp and Instagram platforms, as well as game apps and websites – and how it tracks people around the internet who are not registered members to its social network.

According to the newspaper, it is still not clear how strictly Facebook must adhere to the requirements set out by the Federal Cartel Office. Although, the German watchdog is likely to grant a deadline for compliance rather than its usual approach of taking immediate action.

Failure by Facebook to meet what is set out in the German order could result in it receiving a fine of up to €10m. Despite this, Facebook disagrees with the view of the Federal Cartel Office and it “will continue to defend this position,” according to a spokeswoman.

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