Germany Is Demanding Facebook Changes The Way It Collects Data
Like any service, Facebook has policies to protect both the user and themselves in any situation. Facebook has been under a microscope of criticism lately due to issues about its privacy settings and policies regarding holding user information. To a country like Germany, where privacy is a sacred thing, this particular issue was escalated to court. The German Competition Authority released a ruling last January. It ordered Facebook to limit their data gathering practices in their country. Germany said Facebook is abusing its market supremacy on getting this data without the user’s consent.
The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) Chief Andres Mundr said that they’ll make sure that Facebook can’t force a user into blindly letting them hold personal information. In addition, the gathering of data from other sites to link to their Facebook accounts will also be put to a stop.
Facebook and its legal team released a statement stating how they disagree on this. They expressed their intention for an appeal to allow the people of Germany to keep using the platform. Additionally, Facebook is standing firm that they are within the limits of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In fact, they introduced a better version of the privacy settings – like giving users the ability to choose the ads being shown to them.
Taking a look at the GDPR, it focuses on user data protection to see whether companies like Facebook are doing their job to responsibly protect the user’s data. It also creates a standard for everyone regardless of location.
In the order, the FCO allowed Facebook to link data from WhatsApp or Instagram to the main Facebook app account only if the user gives consent. Otherwise, Facebook can’t collect and store the data. They said that because of the interest to use Facebook, users are overlooking these issues. Which is why the FCO is focused on spreading awareness of the power that comes along with this data. Facebook’s worry is that the FCO might already have the upper hand on this situation.
Compared to its competitors like YouTube and Twitter, Facebook has always been about connecting people. Using the information they collect is actually helping them guard people’s interest and provide better connections. In addition, this information can help identify odd behaviors and prevent future problems.
Facebook is launching a Clear History feature soon. It will allow users to see all the information given to Facebook across all platforms. From there, you’ll have the option to clear out this history. According to Facebook, the Bundeskartellamt a.k.a. FCO disregarded how Facebook puts privacy on a pedestal. Not to mention the steps they’ve taken to comply within the limits of the GDPR such as this new feature.
To wrap it up, Facebook is not a perfect service. But, they are always assuring its users that they are doing what they can to constantly improve their experience.