Facebook has to stop data collection on a large scale (in Germany)

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Facebook in Germany has to stop collecting user data on a large scale. The German cartel watchdog wants to stop linking data between Facebook and WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as tracking users across different web pages.

The German federal cartel agency Bundeskartellamt presented a report on Thursday, after more than three years of research into the social network.

The watchdog is especially critical of the fact that Facebook links the data of different services. For example, a link is made between users of Instagram and WhatsApp, both part of Facebook.

Also the fact that users are being followed via the Find-me-button over the entire web, bumps the watchdog against the chest. “In the future, Facebook is no longer allowed to force users to gather virtually unlimited data and not to link Facebook-related data to Facebook profiles,” the Bundeskartellamt writes.

The judgment does not come into effect immediately, but only in a month. Facebook may file an objection in the meantime. The company has already announced that it will do so.

“We do not agree with the conclusions the agency draws,” the social network writes in a reaction. “They underestimate the intense competition we are experiencing in Germany from Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter and other networks.” The company states that only 60 percent of Germans use Facebook. “Popularity is not the same as dominance.”

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