Users must give explicit consent for Facebook to collect data

In Germany, Facebook may not continue to collect data from users who have not given their consent. The court stopped this yesterday – as the highest instance in German case law.

The tug-of-war around Facebook dates back to a decision made by the German cartel watchdog, the Bundeskartellamt. He ruled in February 2019 after an investigation of almost three years that Facebook abuses its dominant position.

According to the Bundeskartellamt, the company does this by collecting unsolicited data from Facebook users, for example via likes buttons on other websites. The fact that Facebook links data from Instagram and WhatsApp to Facebook accounts is also not a good idea.

The Bundeskartellamt instructed Facebook to explicitly ask users for permission to link Instagram and WhatsApp data to Facebook profiles. If users do not agree, the company may only use the collected data for the service on which it was collected.

The company should also request permission to link data that the company collects on other websites to Facebook accounts. In addition to like buttons, this also happens with Facebook login buttons and an invisible piece of code.

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