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German cartel office limits the data collecting from Facebook

by the users to merge , The Federal cartel office prohibited, Facebook , data from a variety of sources in the individual Facebook accounts in Germany. It also involves group subsidiaries like Whatsapp and Instagram, as well as websites and Apps of other operators.

in the Future, services like Whatsapp or Instagram are allowed to collect data that will inform the Federal cartel office. The group should bring together the data, but only in the Facebook account of a user, if this agrees with the voluntary. Facebook should now come up with a solution and the authority to submit. "We at Facebook for the future, a kind of internal unbundling in the data," says Andreas Mundt, President of the Federal cartel office.

That Facebook carrying data from different sources, have contributed "a significant contribution" that the group have collected a unique stock of data of its users, and so powerful had become, says Mundt. "The consumer can prevent in the future that Facebook collects its data without restriction and recycled."

Facebook will probably appeal

Facebook announced plans to appeal against the decision. You do not have to cooperate with the Federal cartel office agree with its conclusions. The authority is exposed to under-estimating the competition, the Facebook "YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, and many other competitors", as stated in the first opinion.

Facebook argues, 40 per cent of German social media users in Germany are on Facebook. However, the cartel office assumes that the group come up with 23 million daily users in Germany a market share of more than 95 percent. Other services such as Snapchat, Youtube or Twitter, the authority shall not be included in the relevant market, because they "would each provide only a portion of the benefits of a social network". However, even if you involving these competitors, come Facebook with its subsidiaries Whatsapp and Instagram on the high market shares, the cartel office.

The group on the General data protection regulation, which is applicable to all Europeans. Facebook have revised the privacy settings for users already and wanted to improve more. The group use beyond the limits of his individual services across information, even in the sense of the user: It would also contribute to your safety, to prevent the abuse of Accounts. Facebook also found that this practice in the fight against "terrorism, child abuse, or the Manipulation of elections" on the issues, the politicians like to hear, when it comes to the regulation of the Internet.

The Federal cartel office opened proceedings against Facebook nearly three years ago. The authority expects that the group dominates the market for social networks in Germany. And, the cartel office suspects that Facebook could use this Power miss. Namely, when the group also collects user data of the subsidiary companies Whatsapp and Instagram, as well as data from other sites, and all of this information with the Facebook accounts of the users. So Facebook is doing it already with information of Whatsapp as the phone number of a user. In addition, the company has announced to merge the technical infrastructure for chat between Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebok Messenger until next year.

Thus, the company can also collect information from other websites and Apps, there already, if this Like a Facebook-"like"-Button is included, said Andreas Mundt, President of Bundeskartellamt, already a year ago in a preliminary evaluation. "This is the users are not aware of." Millions of websites and Apps that contained these kinds of interfaces. Mundt also doubted that the Facbook users have opted-in to Collect your data. You may take this practice just because you can not switch to other social networks or want to.

Facebook refused to tolerate an Intervention by the cartel office and argued: Actually, it is a matter of privacy and not to competition law, the authority to mix both inadmissible and in excess of their mandate. And since the company has its European headquarters in Dublin, according to the new General data protection regulation, the Irish data protection authority. This is according to experience, friendly with Facebook as the colleagues from the mainland.

requirements could have emphasized Facebook users in the whole of Europe,

The cartel office that it will work in the process work closely with data protection authorities and the European Commission. This line of reasoning would have been just a few years ago impossible. In 2017, the Federal government has amended the law against restraints of competition (GWB) and the digital Economy and their powerful corporations have adapted.

The renewed law takes into account exactly the factors that make Facebook and Google so powerful: network effects (the more users on the platform interact, the more it is worth to join it), Collecting "competition-related" data and the effort that would mean a change to another service for a user. These factors may move the office now, in order to assess the market power of a platform.

in Addition, the amendment has solved a Problem that the cartel had for a long time with digital services: "Where there is no sales, there's no market," it said earlier. Only if money flowed to the market Keeper in charge. Facebook, like other platforms, from Uber to Google, a so-called two-sided market: On the one hand, the company user, on the other advertisers. The latter bring the network money, the users pay nothing. However, as the amendment has made it clear to the cartel office also has jurisdiction if no money is paid. Finally, users pay with their data, on the Basis of Facebook advertising courses to view sold to customer.

In the U.S., Facebook could theoretically smash, for example, by Whatsapp or Instagram to be removed from the group, even if it has been applied in the past only in extreme and exceptional cases. For the Federal cartel office that was not an Option. The local antitrust law is not a disengagement from the company. Nevertheless, the decision could have far-reaching consequences for Facebook. Since it is cumbersome would be, in every EU state has a different Version of the platform, could address the group in accordance with the strictest rules. Then the pads from Germany could affect users in the whole of Europe.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 07.02.2019, 10:58 PM

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