The people behind “move fast and break things” are about to get disrupted themselves.
The German regulation body that monitors competition has ordered Facebook to stop some of its core activities, unless it gets more explicit user consent (via the BBC). That includes combining the data Facebook gains about users from external websites into their backend Facebook profiles. As well as combining the accounts of people on Facebook-owned companies, including WhatsApp and Instagram.
While the new orders concern user privacy, the body is actually instituting its terms because they say the way Facebook has consolidated user information across websites and social platforms has given them an unfair competitive advantage.
“The combination of data sources substantially contributed to the fact that Facebook was able to build a unique database for each individual user and thus to gain market power.”
Facebook released a blog post Thursday directly refuting the order, entitled “Why We Disagree With the Bundeskartellamt” (the name of the agency). In the post, it defends its actions on both privacy and competitive grounds. And, Facebook says that the competition agency shouldn’t have jurisdiction over this matter.
“The GDPR specifically empowers data protection regulators – not competition authorities – to dete
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