New German Directive Orders Facebook to Curb its Data Collection



Anti-monopoly regulations in Germany restrict the data collection practices of Facebook. The regulator has directed Facebook to seek user consent, before combining their personal data from Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook. The directive is a result of a three-year long investigation.

According to Andreas Mundt, the president of the federal cartel office, Facebook would no longer be able to impose its practically unlimited data collection demand on users.

Facebook currently also uses Facebook Pixel to track online user activity without a consent. The new directive would require Facebook to take user consent before carrying on this background activity.  

Facebook Finds Flaws in New Ruling    

Facebook has opposed the ruling. In its blog post, Facebook said it disagrees with the conclusions of the ruling and plans on making an appeal.

According to Yvonne Cunnane, Facebook’s data protection head in Ireland, the ruling underestimated the intense competition Facebook faced in Germany. Nikhil Shanbhag, a Facebook director, also added that the ruling misinterpreted Facebook’s compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

According to Mr. Mundt, Facebook is subjected to special obligations due to its powerful position in the market. According to him, the current ‘obligatory tick’ is not sufficient basis for Facebook’s large data collection practices.

After the introduction of the GDPR regulation in EU recently, Facebook was forced to re-request consent to the company from its users worldwide. Facebook’s juggernaut continues to roll ahead with over a billion users, while the scrutiny around it continues to deepen every day.

Facebook has 12 months to comply with the new data policy.