Today the German Competition Authority has imposed on Facebook restrictions in the processing of user data. The Authority’s decision covers different data sources:
- Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram can continue to collect data. However, assigning the data to Facebook user accounts will only be possible subject to the users’ voluntary consent. Where consent is not given, the data must remain with the respective service and cannot be processed in combination with Facebook data;
- collecting data from third party websites and assigning them to a Facebook user account will also only be possible if users give their voluntary consent.
Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt, stated that: “With regard to Facebook’s future data processing policy, we are carrying out what can be seen as an internal divestiture of Facebook’s data. In future, Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user account”.
Facebook has one month to appeal the decision to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court.
The full text of Bundeskartellamt’s press release is available here.