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Germans forbid Facebook data of all their apps and services to be linked just like that

Germans forbid Facebook data of all their apps and services to be linked just like that

One of Facebook’s plans doesn’t just go ahead. The German competition authority, the Bundeskartellamt, has announced that it is going to restrict the possibilities for Facebook with the usage data of its services and the Internet as a whole. That is the conclusion of a long investigation by the authority.

Since March 2016, research has been conducted on Facebook and its information gathering practices. The issue was based on the question of whether Facebook is allowed to combine the data it collects from users via different services into one profile. This concerns the activity of users on Facebook, but also on the other two large online properties: Instagram and WhatsApp.

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The Bundeskartellamt prohibits Facebook from linking the data unless it has received explicit permission from users to do so. This also applies to the data that Facebook collects from millions of other websites, which make use of its social integrations. Facebook follows the activity of users all over the internet and does so via the like buttons under articles, reactions and other embedded content.

Another source of data for Facebook is the advertising technology Pixel. That’s code that companies can put on their site. It allows them to follow certain important events. Think, for example, of a user who orders a product as a result of a Facebook ad.

In the future, Facebook will no longer be able to force its users to agree to the practically unlimited collection and linking of non-Facebook data to their Facebook accounts, says Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt. The previous practice, in which all data was linked within a Facebook account, for which there were almost no restrictions, will now only be allowed if the user has explicitly given permission for this.

Facebook has one month to appeal against the decision – that’s what it plans to do. Should it also lose on appeal, Facebook has four months to submit proposals to meet the requirements of the Bundeskartellamt.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.