Monopoly watchdog nicht glücklich about Zuck's info suck
Germany's competition authority has accused Facebook of abusing its market dominance to "limitlessly amass every kind of data" on people.
The Bundeskartellamt informed the American social media giant on Tuesday of its "preliminary legal assessment" that by forcing third-party websites and apps – including WhatsApp, Instagram and those using embedded Facebook APIs – to share their data with Facebook, it was abusing its position.
"We are mostly concerned about the collection of data outside Facebook's social network and the merging of this data into a user's Facebook account," said Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt.
He noted that this data gathering "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." Visiting a webpage with a Facebook 'like' button on it phones homes some info about the netizen to the Mark-Zuckerberg-run business, in other words.
Users are not aware that all their information is being scooped up and sent to the mothership, Mundt noted, and concluded: "We are not convinced that users have given their effective consent to Facebook's data tracking and the merging of data."
As a result, the Zuckerberg Express "violates mandatory European data protection principles."
The finding is based on a determination [PDF] that Facebook effectively owns the social media landscape. "The authority assumes that Facebook is dominant on the German market for social networks," a statement from the authority read. It says that Facebook has around 30 million users per month in Germany of which 23 million use the service on a daily basis.Also at The Register:
Google+? Ha! Ha! Ha!
While it noted the existence of other services like Google+, the authority argued that "on account of direct network effects, the substitutability of their products with Facebook is limited, despite the fundamental comparability of the products."...MORE