German antitrust watchdog cracks down on Facebook
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Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc. attends the Viva Tech start-up and technology gathering at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles on May 24, 2018 in Paris, France.
Germany’s antitrust watchdog ruled on Thursday that Facebook abused its market dominance in collecting, merging and using user data.
Germany’s antitrust watchdog, called the Bundeskartellamt, said it was imposing far-reaching restrictions on how Facebook processes user data and gathers user consent. The decision is the culmination of a three-year investigation into the social media company by the German watchdog.
“In future, Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts,” Andreas Mundt, president of the Bundeskartellamt said in a press release Thursday.
Facebook has one month to appeal the decision, which it said it will do in a blog post published Thursday.
“The Bundeskartellamt underestimates the fierce competition we face in Germany, misinterprets our compliance with GDPR and undermines the mechanisms European law provides for ensuring consistent data protection standards across the EU.
GDPR, short for the General Data Protection Regulation, is a sweeping set of data privacy rules that went into effect across the EU last May. Companies that don’t meet GDPR’s requirements face strict fines of up to 4 percent of global annual revenues.