Germany looks to restrict Facebook's data collection

Facebook is facing increasing scrutiny over the way it handles (or mishandles) user data, with regulators in Germany hoping to legally restrict the scope of Facebook's data collection practices through third-party apps.

Only last month, it emerged that various third party companies – like Netflix, Spotify and Apple – were given access to huge swathes of Facebook's user data, and could even "read, write, and delete users' private messages". Last year too, we reported on how the Facebook-owned WhatsApp was sharing user's payment information with its parent company.

According the Bild am Sonntag, Germany's Federal Cartel Office looking to call a halt to some of Facebook's data collection, primarily with regards to third-party apps. 

Facebook accounts often integrate with a variety of other services – say, when setting up a Bumble or Spotify profile – and the way data is shared between those services isn't always clear to the average user.

Did I agree to that?

German regulators are expected to give Facebook some sort of timeframe to implement the changes. Facebook are currently denying any overreach with its data collection, though with the spectre of a €10 million fine for failure to comply, their resistance may not last that long. (That's around £9m, $11.5m, or AU$11.5m with current exchange rates.)

Data privacy is proving an increasingly thorny issue in the wake of GDPR – the EU's new legal guidelines for data privacy – which has forced media companies to explicate what data it's collecting from users, and give them the chance to refuse.

Via Engadget

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.