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By Sheetal Sukhija |  Thursday December 21, 2017
Facebook in tussle with German watchdog over data collection
Facebook has yet again locked horns with the German antitrust watchdog, which warned the social media giant over data collection. Facebook has been accused by the antitrust authorities in Germany of violating Germany’s strict data protection laws and abusing its dominant market position. The warning comes amid an escalation of a long-running tussle between Berlin and the world’s most popular social network. On Tuesday, Germany’s federal cartel office said the company made use of its social network “conditional on its being allowed to limitlessly amass” user-generated data from third-party websites and merge it with the user’s Facebook account. Such websites include both services owned by Facebook, such as WhatsApp, the instant messaging app it acquired in 2014, and Instagram, as well as websites of other operators that have embedded Facebook APIs, or computing interfaces. FCO president, Andreas Mundt, said that the agency was most concerned about how data were being collected outside Facebook’s social network. He pointed out that this even happened when users did not click on a “like” button, but on a site with such a button embedded. Mundt said, “Users are unaware of this. We are not convinced that [they] have given their effective consent to Facebook’s data tracking and the merging of data into their Facebook accounts.” FCO’s criticism of Facebook makes up the preliminary findings of an investigation reportedly launched 20 months ago. On Tuesday, Facebook said the...Read more