Andreas Mundt is a rather friendly, quiet type, not a bruiser. And so he has announced today, a smiling, what is he, the head of the Federal cartel office, and his official projects with Facebook: “We at Facebook for the future, a kind of inner unbundling for data.” Unbundling? In the case of the data? As the announcement is for a data collection group a bit of a Hammer, so as to reach in the guts and turn this.

Because if Amazon, Google or Facebook scares something, then it is an obligation of Transparency in its collecting practices, and the data stuffed machines, the Algorithms, and on the other a “smashing”. In the USA there is even a flow in the competition law, the so-called “Hipster Antitrust”, the penetrates. Will not smash Mundt Facebook, of course. Nevertheless, it makes its decision Facebook to the Mark, because they affect the business model of Facebook, in the core: The collection and processing of data – and because you are making a distribution of power, to the benefit of the data transmitter, the user. Time.

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In the Facebook procedure of the Federal cartel office, it’s actually a quite simple question: Is Facebook so powerful that it can impose on its users of the conditions, to which your data value, and possibly without your Knowledge give? The affirmed the Federal cartel office, with the help of privacy advocates. In Detail, the answer is rather tricky. Facebook is so powerful, argue Mundts people, because it had a dominant position on the market for social networks in Germany, with a share of over 95% (23 million) in the case of the daily users, from over 80 percent (32 million) in monthly users. Because Facebook is so powerful, so the Argument that permanent users do nothing, as Facebook’s terms of use. This is an “abuse of the market”.

the cartel office not to the data on Facebook itself, but the data that Facebook collects on his daughters Instagram and Whatsapp, or via so-called “third-party sites”, such Shares and Like Buttons. Since wars users as some will often be collected not with that about him. However, all of this reflects in his Facebook profile. “Facebook receives a very accurate profile of its users and know what they are doing on the Internet.” It is information that Facebook makes up about advertising to make money. The Bundeskartellamt considers to be undue exploitation.

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Therefore, the cartel office says now: you are allowed to carry data only if the user has given his voluntary consent. “Voluntary” means that you are not allowed to exclude him from Facebook if he gives you consent. In other words: Facebook is allowed to the User using its market power to blackmail. Within twelve months, Facebook will turn it off, within four months, Facebook solution is to submit proposals for the handling of data by third parties.


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Still, this decision is not appealable. Facebook will fight it. Nevertheless, the Bonn Hammer shows that the time of the Wild West is over, the data companies to freely collect data and were able to evaluate. And it shows something else: With warm words not for the corporations. Laws are necessary, and clear regulatory requirements. The discussion about Fake News, election interference, the data scandal Cambridge Analytica have harmed Facebook’s public standing solid. But much of it trickles down, too.

The business is apparently little affected, as the glare at the end of first-quarter figures from last week’s show. Since laws like the European data protection basic regulation (DSGVO) and decisions such as the Bonn authority could have a greater impact. Because only you can force users have their data back to a sovereign in the handle and that you know what the corporations do exactly this.

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a Lot of Facebook advertising Tools are mounted on sides of third, without that the user has even the slightest idea about it. Many stores track the shopping behavior of your customers via a Facebook Pixel that reports data to Facebook. While Facebook is not alone a duty, to ask the user whether this is okay – actually, it is any Shop. Also Facebook is not as Far from the only one who relies on such methods. Tracker there are everywhere. It is precisely this invisible, however, but pregnant Sammeleien, which criticized the anti-monopoly office and in terms.

The user, makes us stronger. Facebook will fight it, of course. The group does not consider itself dominant in the market, the Facebook App, am in constant competition with Youtube, Snapchat, Twitter, it said in a notification on Thursday. In addition, they follow the requirements of the European data protection regulation. Service across to use the information to help “improve the security of the people, … to prevent abuse and to terminate accounts, in connection with terrorism, child abuse, or the Manipulation of elections.” More data allows for better products that make the lives of users better, and safer, means. Let’s just make. This attitude could in the way of unbridled implemented, according to the Facebook Motto “Move fast and break things.” Only Now everything’s not quite as fast. So far, Facebook has been able to internally illuminate its users to the lowest preference, often without notice. Now Facebook needs to get naked. This is only fair.

A Statement from Facebook to the judgment can be found here.