Basically, as if Facebook didn’t have enough data on you already, they’re merging in stuff from Insta and WhatsApp too. Nice.
Andreas Mundt, the president of the cartel authority Bundeskartellamt said
“We are mostly concerned about the collection of data outside Facebook’s social network and the merging of this data into a users’s Facebook account. This even happens when, for example, a user does not press a like button but has called up a site into which such a button is embedded. Users are unaware of this.”
The anti-monopoly body said it wasn’t convinced that users had consented to Facebook tracking and then merging their data. And who can blame them? Its obvious consent hasn’t been given. Maybe GDPR will help us with abhorrent activity like this in the future.
Owning the market
Some German politicians called for Facebook to be broken up. Sahra Wagenknecht the co-chair of the Left party tweeted “A reprimand is not enough. Google and Facebook’s extreme market power has to be broken up by barring them from the mass theft of our data.” Harsh words indeed.
Trying to wriggle out of it, Facebook laughingly claimed that they are not dominant. Yeah, right. Yvonne Cunnane, who is in charge of data protection (lol) say that because Facebook had failures with Slingshot, Paper and Rooms, it proves they aren’t dominant. And added in that Snapchat and Pinterest were competition. Hmm. Not really.
In a hilariously obvious attempt to get out of trouble with the data cops, Facebook has been running a campaign in Germany. Its goal is to try and soothe people’s angst about Facebook and privacy. One of the slogans is “You post a picture of your children and the entire world can see it”. Nice, that – get them off your back, Zuck.
Facebook has already been banned from indiscriminately tracking Belgians who were not members of Facebook with the use of the nefarious Like buttons that are embedded on sites. Facebook appealed and won because it said because their European HQ was in Ireland, Belgium had no jurisdiction. Frankly I’d not remind people about the whole tax thing regarding Ireland, but it worked.
After this defeat, the EU wouldn’t let it lie. They’ve fined Facebook €110 million for giving misleading information about the data sharing between Facebook and WhatsApp. Other EU countries, like the UK, ordered the company to stop sharing WhatsApp data.
Let’s just hope in all the shenanigans about GDPR, one good thing may come from it. Facebook could be fined 4% of their turnover or €20 million. Seeing as Facebook made £842.4m and only paid £5.1m in corporation tax in the UK it’d be nice to extract a bit (or indeed a lot) more out of them.