The official organ of Germany occupied with supervising the competition (the Bundeskartellamt), has ordered Facebook something that could set a precedent. The organization has given a month to the social network to stop combining data from users from different sources without their explicit consent.
“Data of the German users of WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, etc., will stop being crossed.”
This applies to data collected by all the platforms owned by Facebook, such as the WhatsApp instant messaging application and the social network Instagram, and also includes the third-party platforms that Facebook uses to collect advertising data, such as likes in other apps that are used to build a directory of users’ tastes, even those that are not on Facebook.
This sentence has taken place after a three-year investigation by the Bundeskartellamt. Facebook has a month to appeal, but if the appeal fails, the company will have to make sure that the data of the users of its services are not combined without their consent in the next four months.
This, for the time being, will only affect the data of the users of the social network and its services that are on German soil, but could set a precedent and make regulators in other countries take a similar path.
For its part, the social network has ensured that the control of the privacy of the data is not the responsibility of the German association. But the Bundeskartellamt has replied that the control of Facebook over the data of users of different platforms is indicative of a monopoly process, which has provoked the intervention.