Germany’s competition authority has hit Facebook with new restrictions in the processing of user data.
The agency’s Feb. 2 decision means that Facebook’s collecting of data from third-party websites and combining the data to a Facebook user account will only be allowed if users give their voluntary consent.
It also means that assigning data collected from Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram to Facebook user accounts will only be allowed with users’ voluntary consent. If consent is not given, the data must remain with the respective service and can’t be processed in combination with Facebook data.
If consent is not given for data from Facebook-owned services and third-party websites, Facebook will have to substantially restrict its collection and combining of data, the agency, called the Bundeskartellamt, said.
The Bundeskartellamt says it can enforce its decision with a fine of up to 10 percent of annual turnover. Facebook has one month to appeal the decision to the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court. Facebook says it intends to appeal.