Germany’s national competition regulator, The Bundeskartellamt, or Federal Cartel Office (FCO), has ordered Facebook to stop combining user data from different sources without voluntary consent. The order applies to data collected by Facebook-owned platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram, but also third-party sources that Facebook uses to flesh out its advertising profiles, including those of non-users ( The Verge).
Facebook’s data violation practice has come under intense criticism from privacy campaigners and users who argue that it amounts to Facebook following them around the internet without their consent or even their knowledge (The Independent).
Facebook’s continued privacy invasion has roused concerns from top Governments, including the USA, and the US Senate has invited Zuckerberg to defend Facebook’s privacy invasions at different times.
As if this was not enough, Blackberry also sued Facebook for Patent violations.
Blackberry dragged Facebook to court over WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. Blackberry claims that these apps are infringing its patent. The preliminary verdict of the court is in favour of Blackberry. In its current form, Facebook may no longer offer some of its own apps, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram in Germany.
Facebook continues to face hard times and may either be restricted from operating in Germany, or banned altogether. This may encourage a chain of bans across other countries especially in Europe, and the USA.
Source credit: Opera.com, Verge, The independent