Facebook Ordered To Stop Collecting German WhatsApp Data
Tuesday May 11, 2021. 04:12 PM , from Slashdot
Facebook was ordered to stop collecting German users' data from its WhatsApp unit, after a regulator in the nation said the company's attempt to make users agree to the practice in its updated terms isn't legal. From a report: Johannes Caspar, who heads Hamburg's privacy authority, issued a three-month emergency ban, prohibiting Facebook from continuing with the data collection. He also asked a panel of European Union data regulators to take action and issue a ruling across the 27-nation bloc. The new WhatsApp terms enabling the data scoop are invalid because they are intransparent, inconsistent and overly broad, he said. 'The order aims to secure the rights and freedoms of millions of users which are agreeing to the terms Germany-wide,' Caspar said in a statement on Tuesday. 'We need to prevent damage and disadvantages linked to such a black-box-procedure.' The order strikes at the heart of Facebook's business model and advertising strategy. It echoes a similar and contested step by Germany's antitrust office attacking the network's habit of collecting data about what users do online and merging the information with their Facebook profiles. That trove of information allows ads to be tailored to individual users -- creating a cash cow for Facebook.
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