Bonn, Menlo Park After talks with the Federal Cartel Office, the Facebook group Meta gives users a better overview of how their data is linked in various services. From the point of view of the Cartel Office, with the new account overview, “Metas customers can for the first time decide freely and informed whether they want to use meta services in isolation or link them to one another”.
At the same time, the authority saw deficits on Wednesday, for example with “Like” buttons and Facebook logins on other websites. It still needs to be clarified how users can be informed about their use and the consequences of data processing “at a central point as accurately and neutrally as possible and how they can easily allow or refuse their use”.
This also applies to the question of whether cross-account data processing – for example for security purposes – can be lawful without consent. “If the necessary consents are not given sufficiently freely and informed, they must be made up for later,” emphasized the Cartel Office.
Meta also includes Instagram and the chat services Messenger and WhatsApp. The group also offers glasses for displaying virtual reality (VR) under the brand name Quest.
Their sale in Germany was temporarily suspended after the Federal Cartel Office initiated abuse proceedings. This was triggered by later dropped plans to make it compulsory to register with a Facebook account in order to use the glasses.
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Meta said it would continue to work with the authority and was “grateful that the Federal Cartel Office recognizes our work for more transparency and options”.
In February 2019, the Cartel Office prohibited the group from merging data from different sources without the consent of the users. Meta defended himself against it in court. The dispute went all the way to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), whose decision is expected on July 4.
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