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17th of January 2018


German Watchdog Claims Facebook’s Data Harvesting Is ‘Abusive’

It is no secret that Facebook knows a ton about us given that we seem to be more than happy with sharing our personal information with the social network, such as our names, age, birth date, job, school, photos, and so on. Also given how much Facebook is part of our lives, it’s hard to separate ourselves from it, despite some being unhappy with the data it collects.

In a report from Bloomberg, over in Germany, the Federal Cartel Office who is the country’s local watchdog is going as far as claiming that Facebook’s data harvesting is “abusive” in terms of leveraging its market power. In a statement made by FCO President Andreas Mundt, “We are mostly concerned about the collection of data outside Facebook’s social network and the merging of this data into a user’s Facebook account.”

He adds, “We are not convinced that users have given their effective consent to Facebook’s data tracking and the merging of data into their Facebook account.” This is actually not the first time Facebook (or other tech giants like Google) have caught the eye of privacy watchdogs. Just recently in France, the country’s privacy watchdog CNIL have ordered WhatsApp to stop sharing data with Facebook (Facebook owns WhatsApp).

Facebook has since responded to these allegations, stating, “Although Facebook is popular in Germany, we are not dominant. A dominant company operates in a world where customers don’t have alternatives”

Filed in General. Read more about Facebook, Legal and Privacy.

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